Vaccines are safe and continue to be one of the most important means of preventing illness and disease. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit collects and maintains up-to-date immunization records for all elementary and high school students.
Who can I contact for information on school suspensions, clinic schedules, etc.?
You can speak directly to the Vaccine Preventable Disease (VPD) nurse assigned to your school by calling 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, ext. 8807 and ask for the nurse by name or indicate the school you are associated with.
What should I tell a parent who refuses to have their child vaccinated?
Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children because of a medical reason, religious or conscientious belief still need to provide documentation to the health unit.
- Medical exemptions need to be completed by a health care provider. An affidavit may be obtained for religious or conscientious belief by calling the health unit.
- Children with medical exemptions or affidavits on file will be removed from school during a disease outbreak.
- Unvaccinated children are at risk for disease and place other children at risk that are possibly not able to be immunized due to medical concerns.
- Direct parents to the Vaccine Preventable Disease Team at 705-721-7520 at 1-877-721-7520 ext. 8807 for further information.
What vaccines are needed for school entry?
Children attending school in Ontario require the following vaccines:
ü Pertussis (whooping cough)
ü Measles, Mumps, Rubella (must be on or after first birthday)
ü Varicella (chickenpox) - for children born January 2010 and after.
Parents are required to provide the health unit with proof of completed immunization or with the appropriate documentation if they choose not to have their child immunized. This would include a Form 1 (Medical Exemption) or a Form 2 (Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit).
What does the school require for new registrants or transfer students?
When registering new or transfer students, it is important that schools ensure that families complete an Immunization History Form (also available in French). Schools are asked to collect the completed forms and to forward them to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit regularly throughout the school year, to ensure student immunization records are up to date and to avoid possible suspensions.
Parents can also update their child's immunization information online here.
What immunization clinics will be held at elementary schools?
Grade 7 students receive Hepatitis B and Meningococcal conjugate ACWY (for meningitis). Consent forms will be sent home with students in the fall. School clinic dates are scheduled three times throughout the school year.
Female students in Grade 8 receive Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Consent forms will be sent home with students in the fall. School clinic dates are scheduled three times throughout the school year.
Will immunization clinics be held in secondary schools?
- Each year the health unit will assess whether holding immunization clinics in secondary schools is necessary. This assessment considers any changes to the immunization schedule and/or the number of students that may not be up to date for age, and thus would face suspension.
- Between the ages of 14 and16 years, students need a booster for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap).
- Students in Ontario are also required to have up-to-date immunizations against polio, measles, mumps and rubella.
- All students in Ontario require a valid dose of Meningococcal (provided in Grade 7 MenC ACWY).
If the health unit determines the need for secondary school clinics, schools will be contacted by their VPD nurse to discuss clinic dates and information related to the clinic. Students and parents will receive the information home in the form of a questionnaire.
Parents and students can also book an appointment through their health care provider or make an appointment at a local health unit office for any missing immunizations.
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 26 November 2015.
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