Sen. Kitchen and DOH encourage parents to vaccinate kids before school starts

Sen. Kitchen and DOH encourage parents to vaccinate kids before school starts. | Courtesy of
Sen. Shirley Kitchen recently backed up the encouragement of the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), telling parents that they should have their children vaccinated before the school year begins.

The vaccinations that children can receive before school begins may protect them from over a dozen serious or possibly life-threatening illnesses.

The DOH’s campaign slogan, “Don’t Wait. Vaccinate,” is designed to encourage students to include their routine vaccinations with their other back-to-school checklist items.

“It’s important that our children go back to school with new supplies and new outlooks for learning, but they should not forget to be vaccinated against diseases that promise to keep them out of the classroom,” Kitchen, who is the Minority Chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, said. “Measles and chickenpox are two of the more common diseases school-aged children can get, but they don’t have to suffer with them if they are properly vaccinated.”

Health professionals are concerned that children without vaccinations put others at risk, including their families, their own classrooms and their local communities.

“This special effort to immunize our school-aged children is important because Secretary Murphy is saying only 86 percent of students entering kindergarten have the required vaccinations,” Kitchen said. “What’s worse, 100 kids in Philadelphia County were denied admission to kindergarten or 7th grade last year because they were not properly immunized.”

The upcoming school year begins on Sept. 8, 2015.

Organizations in this story

Pennsylvania Department of Health 625 Forster St Harrisburg, PA 17120

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