SCRANTON -- The state is tightening its regulations on when you need to get your child vaccinated before school starts.
Starting next month, parents will have to make sure their children are vaccinated a lot sooner than years before.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health says all vaccinations must be completed within the first five days of the school year.
Previously, parents had an eight-month window to get the vaccines done.
Commonwealth Heath family doctor Tina George says the new deadline will help keep your kids healthy.
"The goal of this regulation is to really just narrow the period where children are going unvaccinated to school and make sure the beginning of the year starts with everyone caught up on their vaccinations rather than trying to play catch-up throughout the year," Dr. George explained.
There are exceptions to this new regulation. If you cannot get the shots by the deadline, you just have to provide documentation to your school saying you have a plan to get the shots.
There are also exceptions for medical and religious reasons.
"It's tremendously important to make sure the entire population is vaccinated to protect our most susceptible kids," Dr. George added.
Despite that, Holly Zahradnick says it should be a parent's choice when to get their children vaccinated.
"You just really have to stay informed and know when is the right time and what is right for your own family," said Zahradnick.
The new regulations go into effect on Monday.