Immunizations are a necessary precaution needed to protect infants, children, and teens from serious childhood diseases such as measles, mumps and chickenpox. Staying up to date with immunizations provides the best protection against disease and is essential to individual and population health.
Under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans, including those bought through the federal Marketplace, as well as the
"As students head back to school this year, parents no doubt have many decisions and concerns to consider during this difficult time," said Insurance Commissioner
These immunizations are covered regardless of whether or not the yearly deductible has been met. However, it is important to make sure that the doctor or provider who administers the immunization is within your health insurance plan's network, or you may be responsible for the cost.
Immunization-preventable diseases can be very dangerous, may require hospitalization, and can even result in death. A discussion with your doctor or your child's doctor can help determine which vaccines are needed.
"Immunizations are a safe and effective way to protect yourself and your children from a number of serious, life-threatening diseases," Acting Secretary of Health
In recent years, a change in state regulations altered the provisional period in which students could attend school without their vaccinations from eight months to five days. Children in grades K-12 need the following immunizations for attendance: tetanus, diphtheria, polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), hepatitis B, and chickenpox. Children entering the seventh grade also need additional immunizations of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) and tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap). If a child does not have at least one dose of the above immunizations, he or she risks exclusion from school. Additionally, while the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory to attend school, the
Health coverage is available for all children in
"Medical Assistance and CHIP exist so that families and children don't have to go without health care coverage. This is always important, but especially during a pandemic," DHS Acting Secretary
More information on CHIP can be found at www.chipcoverspakids.com. Families can apply for coverage through the CHIP program and determine their eligibility for Medical Assistance and other assistance programs that can help families online at www.compass.state.pa.us.
"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," said Secretary Dr.
Anyone looking to visit a local immunization clinic to receive vaccinations should call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) to schedule an appointment. Pennsylvanians should have their vaccination records available when they call to make an appointment. A parent or legal guardian must accompany a child receiving immunizations.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NAIM), an observance coordinated annually to help highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.