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Grade 7 and 8 Immunization Program

At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, the health unit resumed offering three free vaccines to protect against serious diseases (Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and Meningococcal) through the school immunization program for all grade 7 and 8 students. These vaccines are free only through the school immunization program and not through a health care provider.

School immunization nurses will be back in elementary schools in April to June 2023 to provide round two for the three free vaccines for grade 7 and 8 students. Information and details for the upcoming school-based clinics will be provided through the schools for students and parents. To book an appointment at one of our health unit offices click here, or call Health Connection at 1-877-721-7520 (toll free) or 1-705-721-7520, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Please note that the vaccine to protect against Meningitis (Meningococcal Conjugate ACYW) is one of the vaccines designated under the Ontario's Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) which requires that children and youth attending primary or secondary school be immunized against certain diseases unless they have a valid exemption.

Hepatitis B (Hep B)

This vaccine is important because it prevents against Hep B as it is a contagious viral infection of the liver.  The vaccine requires two doses six months apart for those 11-16 years of age and a three dose series if over 16 years of age to fully protect against the disease.  This vaccine is voluntary and not required under the law for school attendance.  Please be sure to let us know if your child has received Hep B as an infant or child through your health care provider (including Twinrix), as this will impact how many (if any) doses of Hep B your child requires for complete protection.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

This vaccine is important because it reduces the risk of various types of cancers such as throat and cervical cancer.  The vaccine requires two doses six months apart to fully protect against the disease.  This vaccine is voluntary and not required under the law for school attendance. 

Hep B and HPV-9 are both a two dose vaccine series, given six months apart. The opportunity to receive a second dose will happen next year (January – March 2023) when students are in secondary school.

Meningococcal Conjugate C-ACYW (Men-C-ACYW)

This vaccine is important because this disease is very serious and can lead to brain or blood infection.  This vaccine requires only one dose for full protection.  This vaccine is mandatory for children in Ontario to attend school.

Making a child’s vaccination experience better and decreasing the amount of pain they may feel is very important. If a child has a bad experience getting a vaccine they may not trust their healthcare provider and may not want to get other vaccines or health care when needed in the future.

There are many things that can decrease pain and lessen stress and anxiety for children and their parents. Using a numbing cream, giving children a chance to ask questions, and informing them about what to expect, letting them choose ways they can be most comfortable when getting a vaccine can help make children’s vaccination experience uneventful and even positive.

Other Resources

Watch the video series created by SickKids on reducing vaccination pain in your child (auto translate option available under settings).

Watch the video Needle Pain and Phobia. How to avoid fear of needles and vaccines.

Tips to Improve your Child’s Immunization Experience- Toronto Public Health

The CARD System – Help Eliminate Pain in Kids & Adults - Videos (auto translate option available under settings)

Dr. Bartlett - How can you make a child’s vaccination experience better?- Video– SMDHU

Dr. Kazmi - How can you make a child’s vaccination experience better?- Video– SMDHU

Tips to improve your vaccination experience for children and youth (multilingual resources)

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