Doctor says Pa. kids still need their shots, but they have extra time this year

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By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Children in Pennsylvania who plan to be in class this fall don't need to get their vaccinations before school starts.

The coronavirus pandemic and the fear of compromising one's health with a visit to the pediatrician's office have prompted the Pennsylvania Department of Health to temporarily suspend immunization requirements.

Dr. Steven Shapiro, chairman of pediatrics at Abington-Jefferson Health, says students now have an extra two months to get those shots.

"On the surface, all good intentioned and not a bad idea, given the nature of how primary care offices have been limited in their ability to care for patients," Shapiro said. "But most pediatricians have been consistent in reminding parents that children still need to be immunized on time and on schedule."

School nurses say they welcome the extra time, because at the start of a normal non-pandemic school year, they're swamped trying to catch up with kids behind on their immunizations.