August 3, 2011

Pennsylvania Department of Health Reminds Parents of New School Immunization Regulations, Recognizes National Immunization Awareness Month

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- August - which is National Immunization Awareness Month - is the ideal time for Pennsylvania residents of all ages to make sure they are up-to-date with immunizations, and especially for parents of school students, the Department of Health said today.

"It's almost back-to-school time, and parents need to be aware that there are new school regulations now in effect for vaccinations," said Health Secretary Dr. Eli Avila.

Effective now, the updated school immunization regulations require that children in all grade levels receive an additional dose of varicella vaccine, a second dose of mumps vaccine and a complete three-dose series of Hepatitis B vaccine.

The regulations also require that students in seventh grade have one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) and one dose of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap). Students in all grades are required to have received a second dose of chickenpox vaccine if they have never had the disease.

The department updated the state's immunization regulations based upon the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

August also marks the annual National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), which reminds people of all ages to keep up-to-date on immunizations. NIAM's goal is to increase awareness about immunizations, from infants to the elderly.

"Vaccines not only protect those who have been vaccinated, but also provide protection to unvaccinated individuals as well," said Dr. Avila. "Vaccines will help keep all Pennsylvanians as healthy as possible by keeping infectious diseases under control."

For more information on the new vaccine regulations, or to get your child vaccinated, visit For a complete listing of immunization requirements by state, visit

Media contact: Christine Cronkright or Brandi Hunter-Davenport, 717-787-1783

Editor's Note: A listing of immunization awareness events taking place throughout the month of August are listed below. Coalition members and nurses will be on-site at each event to provide attendees with information regarding the importance of immunizations:

Erie County:

Aug. 3, 7:05 p.m.: "Here's the pitch . . . Immunize" with the Erie Seawolves at Jerry Uht Park, 110 E 10th St., Erie. The event is sponsored by the Erie Immunization Coalition. For information about this event, contact the Coalition at 814-451-7854 or

York County:

Aug., 5 p.m.: "Immunization Night at the Ballpark" with the York Revolution at Sovereign Bank Stadium, 5 Brooks Robinson Way, York. The event is sponsored by the York-Adams County Immunization Coalition. Free influenza vaccines will also be offered on-site to all game attendees. Anyone under the age of 18 will need to have parent or guardian permission to be immunized. For more information, contact the Coalition at 717-337-4264.

Lehigh County:

Aug. 13, 6:35 p.m.: "Immunization Awareness Night" with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs at Coca-Cola Park, 1050 Iron Pigs Way, Allentown. The event is sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Immunization Coalition. For more information, contact the coalition at 610-865-7087.

Philadelphia County:

Aug. 17, 7:05 p.m.: Adult immunization awareness night with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia. The event is sponsored by the Delaware County Immunization Coalition, Montgomery County Immunization Coalition, Chester County Immunization Coalition, Philadelphia Immunization Coalition, Bucks County Immunization Coalition, Pennsylvania Statewide Immunization Coalition and the MARTIN flu foundation. For more information, contact the coalition at 215-536-6500 or

Berks County:

Aug. 21, 1:05 p.m.: "Immunization Awareness Day with the Reading Phillies and Redner's Kids Camp" at First Energy Stadium in Reading. The event is sponsored by the Berks Immunization Coalition and Redner's Warehouse Markets. For more information, call the coalition at 610-781-5698.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health