August, designated as National Immunization Awareness Month, is right around the corner. Today, the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Chapter (PA-AAP) would like to remind all Pennsylvanians to make sure they are up-to-date with immunizations. This is especially important for parents of school students.
In 2011, the Pa. Dept. of Health published new school vaccine regulations. Those updates, in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), advised additional immunization requirements, including one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) and one dose of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) for students entering seventh grade.
The PA-AAP and the PAFP encourage parents to make appointments now with their children’s pediatrician or family medicine physician. It’s important that children receive vaccines at their physician-led medical home as part of their regular well exam to ensure the correct immunizations are administered, obtain the required documentation for their school district, and to have a trusted provider on-hand in the event of an adverse reaction.
Now is a good time for families to establish a medical home for their children if they don’t have one: medical homes provide not only vaccine visits, but present a great opportunity for parents to address any other issues they’re concerned about and that may require monitoring or follow-up care.
For more information on immunization regulations, visit the Pa. Dept. of Health at www.VaccinesForLife.com.Learn more about the importance of a medical home at www.pafp.comand www.paaap.org.