Monday, January 18, 2016 1:25 pm ·  0 Comments
By Gary Carr
In February 2016, the Halton Region Health Department will be offering in-school immunization clinics for students born in 1998 and 1999 with incomplete immunizations who are at risk of school suspension.
The provincial Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) outlines which immunizations students must have in order to attend school. Local health departments are responsible for confirming the immunization records of students to ensure they have either the legally required immunizations or required exemption form on file.
We are committed to improving the health and safety of school children in Ontario. Requiring proof of immunization for meningococcal disease, whooping cough and chickenpox will help further protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases and reduce the risk of disease outbreaks in schools. The updated immunization requirements for school attendance will now be up-to-date with Ontario’s current immunization schedule. This is based on current clinical guidelines for the best protection of the population against vaccine-preventable diseases. – Ontario Ministry of Health
This year, students born in 1998 and 1999 who have not provided this information to the Health Department by February 24, 2016, are at risk of suspension starting in April. Families with children born in 1998 and 1999 whose immunization records are incomplete, received notices from the Health Department in July and December of 2015.
“While the majority of families in Halton immunize their children to protect their health, many are unaware that they need to notify the Halton Region Health Department about any immunizations their children have or do not have,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “We don’t want anyone to miss school, so as we enforce provincial immunization legislation, we’re making sure it’s easy for students to get updated immunizations by holding clinics in their school.”
If families do not want to wait for the February in-school clinics, they can also receive all required vaccines through their family doctor and report these immunizations back to the Halton Region Health Department.
Although the Halton Region Health Department is taking steps to ensure the immunizations of students born in 1998 and 1999 are up-to-date, all families are encouraged to review their children’s immunization history and make sure the Health Department has updated records either online at halton.ca/immunize, by dialing 311 or by dropping off a copy of their child’s immunization record to the Halton Region Health Department at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville.
For more information about the provincial Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) and how immunization keeps children safe and healthy, please visit halton.ca/immunize.
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