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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 96-2195


Proposed Changes to Immunization Requirements for Attendance at School

[26 Pa.B. 6223]

   The Department of Health (Department) hereby gives notice of its intent to revise its regulations pertaining to the immunization of children for attendance at school. Under the Hepatitis B Prevention Act (35 P. S. §§ 630.1--630.3), the Department shall cause hepatitis B to be placed on the list of diseases that require immunization for entry into school after August 1, 1997, consistent with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (ACIP). As part of its regulatory initiative, Department intends to also amend other school regulations, including requirements for measles, diphtheria and tetanus immunization to conform to current recommendations of the ACIP, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

   The Department intends to adopt changes to the school immunization regulations at 28 Pa. Code Chapter 23 (relating to school health), Subchapter C (relating to immunization requirements) so that they will provide as follows:

   1.  The following are required as a condition of entry into school for the first time, at the kindergarten or first grade level, at any public, private or parochial school, including special education and home education programs:

   a.  Hepatitis B vaccine:  three properly-spaced doses;

   b.  Diphtheria vaccine/tetanus toxoid (Department recommends any of the following combined vaccines:  DTP, DTaP, DT or Td):  four or more properly-spaced doses, with one dose administered on or after the fourth birthday;

   c.  Measles (rubeola) vaccine (Department recommends the combined MMRII vaccine):  two properly-spaced doses, with the first dose administered at 12 months of age or older, or proof of immunity.

   2.  At the beginning of the 2000/2001 school year, the following is required for attendance at school at all grade levels:

   a.  Measles (rubeola) vaccine (Department recommends the combined MMRII vaccine):  two properly-spaced doses, with the first dose administered at 12 months of age or older, or proof of immunity.

   3.  Information previously recorded and stored on the paper ''Certificate of Immunization'' (green and white card) may be recorded and maintained in a computer data base.

   The Department expects to submit final-form regulations to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and the designated standing committees when the General Assembly reconvenes in January 1997. In order to comply with the statute's mandated effective date for hepatitis B immunization, the Department intends to proceed with final rulemaking, omitting proposed rulemaking.

   For additional information or if you wish to provide comments to the Department prior to its development of final-form regulations, write to the Immunization Program at the following address:   Department of Health, Room 1006, P. O. Box 90, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Persons with a disability may submit comments in alternative formats, such as by audio tape or braille.

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 96-2195. Filed for public inspection December 27, 1996, 9:00 a.m.]

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