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New Vaccination Requirements for Seniors

Maddie Marks, '17, co-Editor-in-Chief

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health has made revisions to the immunization requirements for schoolchildren for the 2017-2018 school year in an attempt to lower the amount of students affected by preventable diseases. The largest impact is on current seniors, who must now receive a second dose of MCV, or meningococcal conjugate vaccine before their senior year.

“The Department of Health found from studying breakouts of meningitis on college campuses that one vaccination dose was not providing adequate immunity from the disease process,” said Ms. Sweeney, Strath Haven High School’s nurse. The requirement of a second dose will provide full immunity to the disease, ensuring the safety of Strath Haven seniors as they graduate and transition into college. A similar process had been put in place with the Varicella, or chickenpox, vaccine a few years earlier. As medical advancements are being made, Strath Haven is trying its best to follow closely in order to keep the student body as well as the rest of the community safe.

The rules enforcing this new regulation are somewhat strict, but for a good cause. Students had a five day provisional period at the start of the school year during which they had to provide paperwork that the proper immunization had been completed. This period also served as a time for data collection in the administrative building. Any seniors who did not comply with the new regulations were not allowed to attend school until proper paperwork was handed in.

Those already exempt from immunizations are still exempt, including for purposes such as medical complications and religious or philosophical beliefs. However, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, these students “may be excluded from school during an outbreak of vaccine preventable disease.”

The transition of this new regulation into the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District has been mostly easy. “Parents have been very supportive and compliant with the regulations,” said Dr. Yannacone. The goal of this new requirement is long term health benefits and an overall betterment of general well being in the Wallingford-Swarthmore community and beyond. According to Ms. Sweeney, “The Strath Haven community will have better ‘herd’ protection from disease processes by all students having proper immunizations.” So, while getting an extra shot may be kind of a bummer, the overarching idea is keep students Strath Haven students safe and well.

More information about MCV as well as other Pennsylvania school immunization requirements can be found on the WSSD website or on the Pennsylvania Department of Health Website.


The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.
New Vaccination Requirements for Seniors