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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 26, 2015 09:20 AM
From: Senator Mario M. Scavello
To: All Senate members
Subject: Meningitis Immunization Legislation
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Public School Code of 1949 providing for required immunization.

As some background information, meningococcal meningitis is a serious bacterial infection that includes swelling of the tissues around the brain and spinal cord. This disease develops rapidly and can claim the life of an otherwise healthy person in as little as 24 hours after the first symptoms appear. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1,000-1,200 people contract meningococcal disease in the United States each year. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which provides guidance to the CDC, recommends routine meningococcal vaccination for children and adolescents at 11 or 12 years of age, followed by a second vaccination at age 16. Keeping up to date with recommended vaccines is the best defense against meningococcal disease.

Therefore, my legislation requires the Pennsylvania Department of Health to adopt a regulation requiring students, upon entering the 7th and 12th grade, to receive an immunization containing meningococcal vaccine that is in accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB797