Health officials urge parents to get children vaccinated before new school year starts

HARRISBURG - Health officials reminded parents to make sure they are getting all the required vaccinations for their children before school starts.

The Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, joined officials from Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health to highlight the importance of immunizations on Friday.

"As the Secretary of Health, as a pediatrician and as a parent, vaccinations immunizations are safe. They are effective and they are a fantastic tool to prevent the spread of serious life-threatening illnesses," said Dr. Levine.

Officials also reminded parents to make sure their children are up-to-date on recommended vaccinations before the new school year begins.

In 2017, the Department of Health changed the regulations regarding school vaccinations. Since then, schools require students to have all vaccinations up-to-date or plan of vaccination within the first five days of the school year.

The department offers immunization throughout the year across the state. Anyone who doesn't have insurance or their insurance does not cover the vaccinations, may be eligible to get them for free at one of the state health centers or local health departments.

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 vaccinations.

For more information on immunizations, visit the Department of Health's website.

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