November 27, 2017: This week, elementary students with incomplete immunization records will be getting letters in the mail from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health warning they could face suspension from school. Students need to get any missing vaccines and update their records with Public Health by January 26, 2018 to be in compliance with the Immunization of School Pupils Act.
“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. To attend school, students in Ontario need to be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease and pertussis (whooping cough). Students born since January 1, 2010 also need to be vaccinated for varicella (chicken pox).
When most of the school community is vaccinated for these diseases, the risk of outbreaks is greatly diminished. Those students who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons benefit from the “community immunity” of the majority of students.
Public Health will be working closely with school principals and students to ensure vaccine records are updated by the deadline. Parents of students with missing vaccines should make an appointment with their family doctor or Public Health to get their child immunized. More information is available at www.wdgpublichealth.ca.
Chuck Ferguson, Communications Manager
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4374