SCHOOL STARTS SOON! IS YOUR FAMILY FULLY VACCINATED?
The new school year finds many parents busy shopping for uniforms and school supplies. Now is also a very good time to make sure you and your family’s immunizations are up to date. During the month of August, the Erie County Department of Health is joining with the Pennsylvania Department of Health in observing National Immunization Awareness Month. Are your family’s immunizations up to date?
The state of Pennsylvania has adopted new school regulations for the 2011-2012 school year. For attendance in all grades, children need the following:
· 4 doses of tetanus and diphtheria, with one dose being on or after the fourth birthday
· 3 doses of polio
· 3 doses of hepatitis B
· 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine (or history of disease) NEW
· 2 doses of measles
· 2 doses of mumps
· 1 dose of rubella (German Measles)
Additional immunizations required for 7th grade students:
· 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) NEW
· 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) NEW
The entire summary of regulations relating to PA school immunizations can be found in 28 Pa. Code, Chapter 23, Subchapter C of the Pennsylvania Bulletin. (http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol40/40-22/984.html)
Immunizations are recommended during infancy, teen years and adulthood. The American Academy for Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend and endorse vaccine schedules for each stage of life. For certain vaccines (such as tetanus), booster immunizations are recommended throughout life. Immunizations are also recommended for certain diseases that may be encountered when traveling outside of the United States.
Vaccines are well studied, safe, and proven to prevent disease. Mild side effects, such as redness and soreness at the spot where the shot was given, may occur.
Vaccines have a very good track record for preventing disease and death. They not only protect vaccinated persons, but also help protect entire communities by reducing the spread of contagious diseases, as well as reducing the costs related to doctor visits, hospital admissions, and missed time from work.
Vaccines have wiped out smallpox worldwide, eliminated wild poliovirus in the United States and significantly reduced the number of cases of measles, diphtheria, rubella (German Measles), pertussis and other diseases. However, despite these efforts, people in the United States still die from these and other vaccine-preventable diseases every year. By staying up-to-date on the recommended vaccines, individuals can protect themselves, their families and their communities from serious, life-threatening diseases.
For more information on immunizations and vaccine preventable diseases, visit the Erie County Department of Health website— http://ecdh.org/immunizations.php.
Routine childhood immunizations given by a family doctor, pediatrician, or other medical provider are covered under most health insurance plans. The Erie County Department of Health also provides immunizations. Call 451-6700 for dates, times, and locations.
Janet Mankowski, RN
This information is distributed by the Erie County Department of Health, 606 West Second Street, Erie, PA 16507, 814-451-6700, www.ecdh.org.