June 24, 2021

Child Care Guidance: TB Testing & COVID-19 Vaccines

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) issued guidance for child care providers related to regulatory compliance with Tuberculin Skin Testing (TST) requirements after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

Child Care Guidance: TB Testing & COVID-19

DHS licensed child care facilities are required to ensure individuals receiving services and/or staff members receive a negative TST upon admission/hire and every two years thereafter. However, because new guidance from the CDC may impact a licensee’s ability to comply with requirements, the DHS has temporarily issued a limited suspension of the timing of TST provisions.

Do Not Delay COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 vaccines should not be delayed because of testing for TB infection. Testing for TB infection with one of the immune-based methods, either the TST or an interferon release assay, can be done before or during the same encounter as COVID-19 vaccination. However, the two-step tuberculosis skin test should not be given within four weeks after the COVID-19 two-dose vaccination process.

How to Remain Compliant

Compliance with the TST requirements will be achieved provided that the licensee, individual, or staff person meets the following:

    • consults with their physician regarding the recent administration of the COVID-19 vaccination and upcoming TST;
    • obtains documentation of the COVID-19 vaccine administration, including the date of administration or written documentation from the individual’s or staff person’s physician of the necessity to defer TST; and
    • follows physician recommendations as it relates to TST as soon as possible after completing a COVID-19 vaccine schedule.

View the Full Announcement

For more information, read the full announcement. OCDEL also released answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and TB testing.

Image: Two early childhood professionals sit across from each other in a room, both holding babies in their laps.