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To Enroll or Not to Enroll, That is the Question: Immunizations

By: Amanda Sundquist

immunizations-school-lawsWith the start of the school year, school administrators and administrative staff are often faced with a number of challenging issues regarding enrollment of new students. A common issue is whether a school district can register a child that does not have the required proof of immunization.

A school district may accept more than just a copy of the child’s immunization record. A written statement from the child’s former school district or from the child’s medical office that the immunizations have been administered or are in progress may be sufficient to permit enrollment.

Even if the records (or a lack of records) reflect incomplete immunization, that alone is not a reason to decline to enroll a child in Pennsylvania. Current Pennsylvania regulations allow students to be admitted to school provisionally for up to eight months if evidence of at least one dose of each of the required antigen for multiple dose vaccines is given, and a plan for obtaining all immunizations is in place. The school district is responsible for monitoring this plan for compliance.

As challenging issues arise during the enrollment process don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions. A simple phone call can save your school from facing a complaint filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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