Key Pa. commission approves tighter vaccination rules for kids
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 10.20.16
(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania has one of the loosest vaccination regulations for school-age children in the country, and it appears it will soon be ending.
A key state commission has approved a change mandating that kids get all the required vaccines within five days of the start of each school year.
As of now, parents have eight months from the start of the school year to get their kids vaccinated.
The Department of Health says the current regulation brings a higher likelihood of disease outbreaks.
A group argued against the changes, but Lawrence Clark with the Health Department says the wide-ranging philosophical exemption is an option for those who take issue with vaccines.
"This regulation does not in any way the exemptions as they are today. They still exist, they will exist, and those parents will have a choice to make, and we are not taking that away from them," says Clark.
Says Morgan Plant, with the group that represents school nurses: "No matter how much time you give people, you're always going to have to push. And having it on the short end, in their view, it makes people take it more seriously."
The Department of Health says it hopes the new rules will get approved by the state Attorney General's office and take effect in time for next school year.
Published in Healthcare Transformation