The Lead

Wolf admin. encourages parents, guardians to update immunizations for children ahead of school year

By: - August 8, 2022 4:01 pm

Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Denise Johnson discusses the importance of investing in maternal-child health during a press conference in Harrisburg on May 25, 2022. (Commonwealth Media Services photo)

With the 2022-23 school year set to begin for many schools across Pennsylvania in the next few weeks, state officials are encouraging parents and guardians to make sure their children are up-to-date on their immunizations. 

“Students and educators are preparing for the beginning of a new school year and opportunities to teach, learn, and grow together in classrooms across the commonwealth,” acting Education Secretary Eric Hagarty said. “As part of back-to-school preparations, I encourage families to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date.”

To attend K-12 school, children in Pennsylvania need the following immunizations: tetanus, diphtheria, polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), hepatitis B, and chickenpox. Additionally, kids entering seventh grade also need meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) and tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) immunizations. 

“Getting vaccinated and staying up to date is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to prevent disease,” acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. “Vaccines help protect everyone, including people with compromised immune systems who cannot get vaccinated. It is essential that everyone, especially children, are up-to-date on all recommended immunizations before heading back to school.” 

A COVID-19 vaccine is not required for children to attend school, but state officials said Monday that the Wolf administration encourages the vaccine for children five years of age and older. 


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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.