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Division of Immunizations

The Division of Immunizations, in the Pennsylvania Department of Health, focuses on the reduction or elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases. The division provides vaccine for specific diseases that affect infants, children, adolescents and adults. These vaccines are available through both public and private health care providers. In addition to providing vaccines, the division offers educational programs, ongoing disease surveillance systems, enforcement of school immunization regulations, disease investigations, assessment of immunization coverage, immunization registry and tracking systems, outbreak control interventions, and special efforts directed toward the prevention of hepatitis B disease, and oversees the Vaccines for Children program. The primary goal of the division is to achieve maximum immunization coverage in order to eliminate the occurrence of vaccine preventable diseases in Pennsylvania.
Working Together
The division works closely with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and their Medicaid providers for provision of vaccines to eligible children and also to maximize immunization levels in day care facilities licensed by DHS. The division has partnered with the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (PA AAP) and the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PMS) on professional education efforts, immunization assessment and general improvement of vaccine coverage in the private medical sector. The Division of Immunizations works to increase public awareness by providing educational materials and training opportunities to all vaccine providers and interested parties through partnerships with the statewide coalition, the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition (PAIC) and the Pennsylvania regional coalitions.
The division’s interaction with Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) impacts upon children by promoting immunizations. A partnership is in place with 389 WIC agencies statewide to do immunization assessment and referral at each encounter. Close cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) over a long period of time has resulted in high immunization levels of school students and a near elimination of disease incidence in this population.
Hospital-based maternity education programs have boosted the knowledge of immunization by new mothers. Tot Trax, a hospital-based new parent education and newborn tracking system, is a statewide initiative. The Division of Immunizations has partnered with the Pennsylvania Forum for Primary Care to enhance immunization efforts throughout the state with migrant/community health centers.
Success Story
The use of vaccines, multi-media education and aggressive disease surveillance and control programs has resulted in the near eradication of most vaccine-preventable diseases. A greater than 90% reduction in the reported incidence of disease has occurred over the past five-to-six years. The thrust now is to sustain and even improve immunization services and coverage by eliminating the remaining threat of vaccine-preventable diseases in any population group or geographic pocket of need throughout the state.
Additional information is available through Quick Links or by calling the Division of Immunizations at 717-787-5681.