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PA Department of Health announces temporary suspension of requirements for children's immunizations

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lag in kids receiving their annual vaccinations for the upcoming school year.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced a temporary regulatory suspension of requirements for children's immunizations. 

State health officials are enforcing this suspension for two months from the start of the school year. 

The decision stems from the challenges faced with the pandemic and trying to manage students and teachers returning to school safely.  

Health experts say these changes are only temporary because of COVID-19 and the disaster emergency on the availability to get vaccines before school starts. They say it is just too difficult and there are too many risks to require them to enter school. 

What started last winter, continuing to present day -- some medical visits have been postponed altogether to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, many kids have not gotten their vaccinations on their appropriate schedule. 

In a world without COVID-19, typically doctors would "catch up" and might even hold vaccine clinics to make sure children have their necessary vaccinations. Health Experts say with COVID-19 most likely extending into the fall -- those catch up vaccine clinics might not even happen. 

Although the temporary suspension will be in place -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health continues to stress the importance of vaccines. They say child immunizations are essential to individuals and population health, and that vaccines protect kids from preventable diseases.

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