Jan. 26 deadline set for public school students to show they’re immunized

December 7, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

Hundreds of elementary school students across Dufferin County face the prospect of suspension in the new year due to incomplete immunization records.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health sent a notice out last week warning that any student lacking compulsory vaccines will be pulled from school for 20 days unless they are administered by Jan. 26.

The move falls in line with Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act, which regulates that, to attend schools in the province, students must be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease and whooping cough unless the parents have won exemptions based on religious beliefs or ‘conscience’. Students born since Jan. 1, 2010 also need to be vaccinated for chicken pox.

“Public Health and school boards are required to enforce the immunization requirements to protect school-aged children from diseases that can have serious complications,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. Dr. Mercer noted when most of the school community is vaccinated for these diseases, the risk of outbreak is greatly diminished.

“Those students who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons benefit from the ‘community immunity’ of the majority of students,” she added.

Public Health will be working closely with school principals and students to ensure that vaccine records are updated by the deadline. Parents of students with missing vaccines are encouraged to make an appointment with a family doctor or Public Health to get their child immunized.

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