Immunization for School Attendance

Vaccines play an important role in protecting students against serious diseases in addition to those around them including school staff.

The Immunizations of School Pupils Act (ISPA) requires every public health unit to have either an up-to-date vaccination record or a legal exemption form on file for each child attending school in Ontario. Parents of children attending primary or secondary school provide their local medical officer of health with proof of their child’s immunization against designated diseases. It is Public Health’s responsibility to review vaccination coverage and contact parents of students for whom they do not have complete vaccination records on file.

As a teacher or principal, your participation in distributing and collecting information from students ensures more students are vaccinated and that your school and community are better protected against disease.

For new students attending school the following form needs to be filled out and provided to the school. For those who need help translating their records please contact Immigration services for the translation of immunization records into English.

Exemptions from the requirements are allowed for medical reasons (e.g., prior immunity or medical contraindication) or based on an affidavit of conscience or religious belief.

Children for whom we do not have required immunization records or a valid exemption on file may be temporarily suspended from school until the required records are provided.

Here are important dates for vaccination assessments and suspension at your school:

  • November 2017 - Letters are mailed to parents and legal guardians of elementary students who do not have up-to-date vaccination records or an exemption on file with Public Health.
  • January 2018 - Letters sent to parents and legal guardians of high school students who do not have up-to-date vaccination records or an exemption on file with Public Health.
  • January 26, 2017: Deadline for elementary school students to submit updated immunization records to avoid an order of suspension.
  • January 31, 2018 -  Elementary school students who still have incomplete immunization records are suspended until their records are updated or an exemption is filed with Public Health
  • February 20 – March 9, 2018: High school clinics.
  • April 6, 2018: Deadline for high school students to submit updated immunization records to avoid an order of suspension.
  • April 12, 2018: High school students who still have incomplete records will be suspended from school until their vaccine records are updated or an exemption is filed with Public Health.