Please review the following FAQs if you have questions about school vaccinations. If your question is not answered here, you can call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006. Please leave a message if prompted. Depending on call volumes, it may take a few days to hear back. We appreciate your patience.
- What vaccines will be provided and when?
Public Health Nurses will be providing the following three immunizations at elementary schools during the month of October and then again in the spring to all grade 7 and 8 students. Visit wdgpublichealth.ca/immunizeGr7 for the school schedule.
- Meningococcal ACYW-135 (1 dose only, fall)
- Hepatitis B (2 doses, 6 months apart -fall and spring)
- HPV (Gardasil 9) (2 doses,6 months apart, fall and spring)
- Will students receive all three vaccines in one visit?
Yes, one dose of each of the three vaccines will be offered at the first visit in the fall. MenC-ACYW-135 only requires one dose so when public health returns to the school in the spring, your child will only require a second shot of two vaccines (Hep B and HPV). MenC-ACYW-135 will be offered in the spring for those that missed it in the fall.
- Is it safe to receive more than one vaccine at a time?
Yes. Your child’s immune system can easily handle many vaccines at once. Receiving multiple vaccines is safe, convenient, and ensures the best protection for your child at the earliest age possible.
Can my child get the school vaccinations if they were just vaccinated for COVID-19?
Yes. On September 28, 2021, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) updated its recommendations on the co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines. Based on NACI’s review of the effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines, NACI recommends that non-COVID-19 vaccines may be given on the same day, or at any time before or after the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Are all three vaccines in one needle?
No, they are all separate vaccinations and each requires separate consent (see the consent form sent home). Both arms will be used so it is best to wear a shirt with easy access to the upper arm.
- What are the side effects?
Common side effects are redness, tenderness and swelling at the injection site on the arm. Some children experience a headache, fever, and fatigue.
- How can I check or update my child’s vaccination record?
- My child already started these vaccinations. Can they complete them at school?
Yes. Please complete the consent form that was sent home with your child. Indicate on the form the dates of the previous doses. A public health nurse will ensure the timing is correct prior to administering their next dose.
- My child is learning remotely. How can they get their immunizations?
You may contact your primary care provider or request an appointment at public health by calling ext. 7006. We are working to accommodate school-based immunization appointments in the month of November.
- My child started these vaccines prior to COVID-19 school shutdowns. It has been a long time and now they are off schedule. Do they need to restart the vaccine series?
No. As per the Canadian Immunization Guide a vaccine series does not need to be restarted regardless of the time between doses. The nurse will simply complete the missing dose(s) at the school and your child will be up to date.
- Will the COVID-19 vaccine be offered at the school clinics?
No it will not. Please visit wdgpublichealth.ca/drop-ins for locations of COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Anyone age 12 (or turning 12 in 2021) is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
- My child is in high school now and missed these vaccinations. Are they still eligible?
Yes, if your child missed these vaccines in elementary school they are eligible to catch up. Public Health is offering catch-up clinics during the month of November at various locations across the region. Visit wdgpublichealth.ca/immunizeGr7 for a list of dates and times and the link to book an appointment online.
- Are these vaccines required for school attendance?
Meningococcal ACYW-135 is required for school attendance under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA). Hep B and HPV are strongly recommended but not required. Eligibility for these vaccines to be received free of charge is limited. Visit Immunizations required for school attendance for more information.
- Do I need to fill out the consent form if my child already received these vaccines or has an appointment to receive them elsewhere?
Yes. Please return the consent form and indicate ‘NO’ in the vaccine consent boxes. Add a note as to why you are not receiving these vaccines at school. It is very helpful for the nurses on clinic day to have completed consent forms for all students.
- How can my child catch up if they miss the school clinics?
Public Health is offering catch-up clinics during the month of November at various locations across the region. Visit wdgpublichealth.ca/immunizeGr7 for a list of dates and times and the link to book an appointment online. You can also call ext. 7006 to book an appointment.
You can also:
- Contact your primary care provider to make an appointment. A prescription is not needed and they will still be provided for free.
- Wait until the spring school clinics to start their vaccine series.
- What should I do if my child has received the Hep B vaccine?
If they completed a full series of Hepatitis B vaccine or Twinrix, they do not need to repeat Hepatitis B at school. Fill out your consent form with the dates of the vaccines and indicate ‘NO’ in the consent box for Hep B vaccine. If they have not received the full series, a nurse will reach out and advise if the vaccine is needed.
- My child got the Men-C vaccine, do they need the MenC-ACYW-135 vaccine?
Yes, they do need a dose of MenC-ACYW-135. Men-C only covers one strain of meningitis that is most commonly seen in younger children (the C strain). Men-C-ACYW-135 covers for the C strain again but it also covers an additional three other strains A, Y and W-135, which your child has not been protected against yet.
- My child got the MenC-ACYW-135 vaccine in the past, do they need it again?
As per the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) only one valid dose of MenC-ACYW-135 after age one is required for school attendance. However, your child is still eligible for a publicly funded dose of MenC-ACYW-135 in grade 7. Antibodies can wane so receiving another dose is optional. For more information on a second dose please call our Call Centre at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006.
- How can I exempt my child from vaccinations?
Vaccines required for school attendance under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) will need a valid religious or conscientious exemption form completed. Visit Immunization and Exemptions for School/Daycare Attendance for more information.
Please return your consent form and indicate “NO” in the consent boxes and add a note to advise you are in the process of exemption.
- What if my child cannot receive the vaccines for medical reasons?
Visit Immunization and Exemptions for School/Daycare Attendance for instructions on medical exemptions and to download a form to be completed by your primary care provider. Please return your consent form and indicate “NO” in the consent boxes and add a note to advise you are in the process of medical exemption.
- Can I make an appointment at public health for these vaccines?
Yes. Public Health is offering catch-up clinics during the month of November at various locations across the region. Visit wdgpublichealth.ca/immunizeGr7 for a list of dates and times and the link to book an appointment online.
- Will my child be suspended from school if they do not get vaccinated?
The suspension process is on hold for the 2021-2022 school year, and will resume in the 2022-2023 school year. It is still recommended to update your child’s vaccinations as soon as possible. You may receive a notice (i.e. phone call, letter) as a reminder if your child has an incomplete immunization record but they will not be suspended.
- Can parents be with their child during vaccination?
School COVID-19 protocols do not allow parents inside the school ad this time. However, Public Health is offering catch-up clinics during the month of November at various locations across the region and parents can attend with their child. Visit wdgpublichealth.ca/immunizeGr7 for a list of dates and times and the link to book an appointment online.
- What can I do to help my child who is anxious or fearful of needles?
Here are some resources to help your child with receiving needles.
- Preparing children for school vaccinations: A parent’s guide
- Needle-related Fainting: Why does it happen? What to do about it?
- Children’s Fear Scale
- Acute Pain and Needle Fear Resources
- Nervous about Needles?
- Needles don’t have to hurt
- Needle Fears and Phobia
- Reduce the Pain of Vaccination in Kids and Teens
- Help eliminate pain in kids and adults
Prepare your Students for Immunization Day! (for teachers)