School Vaccination Requirements
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Allegheny County have specific requirements for immunizations for all children to protect them from contagious, communicable diseases. In June 2008, the Allegheny County Health Department issued a requirement, stating all public, private, parochial, cyber, and home-schooled students in Allegheny County are to have these mandated immunizations or risk exclusion from school. These requirements allow for exemptions based on medical reasons, religious beliefs, or philosophical/strong moral/ethical conviction, which must be provided to the school nurse in electronic or written documentation from the parent/guardian. Even if your child is exempt from immunizations, he or she may be excluded from school during an outbreak of vaccine preventable disease.
FOR ADMISSION INTO ALL GRADES:
- 4 doses of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (1 dose on or after the 4th birthday)*
- 4 doses of polio (4th dose on or after 4th birthday and at least 6 months after previous dose given)**
- 2 doses of measles, mumps, rubella***
- 3 doses of hepatitis B
- 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) or evidence of immunity
*Usually given as DTP or DTaP or if medically advisable, DT or Td
**A fourth dose is not necessary if the third dose was administered at age 4 years or older and at least 6 months after the previous dose
***Usually given as MMR
FOR ADMISSION INTO 7th GRADE
- 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) on the first day of 7th grade.
- 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) on the first day of 7th grade.
FOR ADMISSION INTO 12th GRADE
- 1 dose of MCV on the first day of 12th grade. If one dose was given at 16 years of age or older, that shall count as the twelfth grade dose.
If immunizations are not current, the following guidelines must be followed:
- If a child does not have all necessary doses listed above, needs additional doses, and the next dose is medically appropriate, the child must receive that dose within the first five days of school or risk exclusion. If the next dose is not the final dose of the series, the child’s parent/guardian must also provide a medical plan (red and white card) within the first five days of school for obtaining the required immunizations or risk exclusion.
- If a child does not have all necessary doses listed above, needs additional doses, and the next dose is not medically appropriate, the child’s parent/guardian must provide a medical plan (red and white card) within the first five days of school for obtaining the required immunizations or risk exclusion.
- The medical plan (red and white card) must be followed or risk exclusion (which means the child is not permitted to attend school).
PA Dept of Health School Immunizations https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/programs/immunizations/Pages/School.aspx
Resources for Families
- School Vaccination Requirement Fact Sheet (English, PDF)
- School Vaccination Requirement Fact Sheet (Spanish, PDF)
- Pennsylvania Department of Health - Division of Immunizations - Website
- Don't Wait. Vaccinate (English, PDF)
- Don't Wait. Vaccinate (Spanish, PDF)