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News Release

Health unit pleased with vaccine record response from parents

Jul 02, 2014
The spring campaign to have parents update their children’s immunization record has produced encouraging results, the health unit says.
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – The spring campaign to have parents update their children’s immunization record has produced encouraging results, the health unit says. 
Of 5,717 questionnaires sent to elementary and secondary schools in Simcoe and Muskoka, just 56 students faced suspension because their records were not up-to-date—a 99 per cent compliance rate.
Under provincial law, health units are required to keep up-to-date immunization records on all students attending day nursery and school.
It means keeping tabs on the vaccine records of students in 235 schools within the Simcoe Muskoka District Health unit coverage area.
Colleen Nisbet, the director of clinical service with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, said she is pleased that the response from parents has been so strong through the spring.
“It shows parents have a good understanding of the importance of reliable records on immunization in schools,” she said. “The information will protect students who may be at risk because they are either not immunized or may not be up to date with the routine immunization schedule.”
Each year there’s a process started by the health unit with a letter requesting updates on vaccines, with a deadline that could result in suspension if it’s not met.
Students often get their shots from their health care provider but parents need to pass this information on to the health unit. The health unit works with parents who may have questions related to updating immunization for students.
Heading into the next school season in September, parents will have some extra vaccines to arrange for their children.
Currently the Immunization of School Pupils Act requires all students to be vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, mumps, measles and rubella. As of July 1, 2014 the list grows to include pertussis (whooping cough), varicella (chickenpox) and meningitis.
An online reporting form has made it easier for parents to submit their children’s records to the health unit. The form is available at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/immsonline.
Immunization records are normally kept on yellow cards available through the health unit or personal health care providers. This information is valuable and should be kept in a safe place, since students often need them for post-secondary entrance, work and travel.
For more information on vaccines and student immunization records, visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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