By Elizabeth J. Billies | Esquire

As another school year gets underway, parents should be aware of a new Pennsylvania state health rule which requires that their children have certain vaccinations before the first day of school.  If they don’t have these vaccinations, they will be unable to enroll and begin classes.

Under the old rule, parents had up to eight months to get their children vaccinated.  Under the new rule, the eight-month grace period has been changed to only five days.  Furthermore, the new regulations require that children receive additional vaccinations that were not previously mandated.  For example, students entering their senior year in high school must now receive a second dose of a meningitis vaccine.  Children are also now required to receive four doses of the polio vaccine.

It is unclear as to how districts will enforce these requirements and parents are still able to seek an exemption for religious, medical, or philosophical reasons.  However, the change in the rules clearly indicates that schools take vaccinations seriously and, but for good reason, children will be required to receive same. 

For more information, please read the full article from The Philadelphia Inquirer, which also includes a link to the new state rules.