The Regional Municipality Of York

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Immunization Requirements for School

Immunization can protect you and your child from illness associated with vaccine preventable diseases. The more people who are immunized, the fewer opportunities a disease has to spread.

Get required immunizations:

  • Visit your health care professional’s office or a walk-in clinic to receive the required immunizations, or
  • Book an appointment at a York Region immunization clinic by calling 1-877-464-9675 ext.73044, TTY 1-866-252-9933, or through our online clinic schedule.

The Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)

All children attending school are legally required to be immunized against certain preventable diseases, unless a valid exemption due to medical, conscience or religious reasons is provided. York Region Public Health collects and reviews the immunization records of all students to ensure each child is immunized and their records are up to date.

Doctors or schools do not provide this information to York Region Public Health. You need to inform York Region Public Health when your child has received a vaccination.

Why get vaccinated

The diseases that Ontario’s publicly funded vaccinations protect against are highly contagious, can spread easily in schools and can potentially cause severe complications or even death. These vaccines are considered so important that they are provided free to all Ontarians.

Vaccines used in Canada are safe. Only after many years of research and testing is a vaccine approved for use in Canada. Vaccines in use are continually monitored for safety and effectiveness.

Did you receive a letter?

As part of reviewing immunization records, York Region Public Health sends letters to students’ parents and guardians when immunization information is missing. If you received a letter requesting immunization information, here’s what to do:

Update York Region Public Health on your child’s immunization status in one of the following ways:

  • Online
  • Fax documents to 905-895-6066 or 1-866-258-2026
  • Mail immunization information to Immunization Services, Box 147, Newmarket, ON L3Y 6Z1
  • Call York Region Public Health at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73456

Students whose immunization records are not up to date may be suspended. York Region Public Health will provide support to parents, guardians and students to help them keep immunization records up to date.

Suspended? What to do now

Update your records:

  • Online
  • Fax: 1-866-258-2026
  • Call York Region Public Health: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73456.

It is the responsibility of parents and guardians of school-aged children to provide up-to-date immunization information to York Region Public Health. Please do not mail your immunization records to York Region Public Health.


If you cannot immunize your child due to medical reasons, a medical exemption form must be sent to York Region Public Health.
Statement of Medical Exemption

As of September 1, 2017, Ontario parents and guardians that choose not to immunize their child for non-medical reasons are required to attend an immunization education session and complete the statement of conscience or religious belief form. Immunization education sessions for York Region residents are offered by York Region Public Health. For more information on immunization exemptions, contact York Region Public Health at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73452.
Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief

Why have I received a notice from York Region?

York Region Public Health sends notices to parents and students when a student’s immunization record is missing information for required vaccines.  

You need to review your child’s immunization record (yellow card) to ensure they are completely immunized according to Ontario's Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule.

You need to provide York Region Public Health with the name of the vaccine(s) and the date(s) given (year, month and day), or a valid exemption form. There are several options for providing this information. Please follow the options outlined in the notice and on the ‘Request for Immunization Information’ form.

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Why did I get a notice if I already provided up-to-date immunization records to York Region Public Health?

If a parent or guardian has recently provided a child’s immunization record and now has received a notice from York Region Public Health, we may need additional information. Please follow the instructions on the notice or contact us for more information.

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Why are a child’s immunization records considered to be incomplete?

There may be several different reasons why a child’s immunization record is considered incomplete.

  1. A child’s complete immunization record was not provided to York Region Public Health.

    A child may have received all the required immunizations, but York Region Public Health may not have all the up-to-date information. After your child has registered for school, the parent or guardian is required to provide the child’s up-to-date immunization record to York Region Public Health each time the child is vaccinated.

    Doctors do not report this information to York Region Public Health. It is important to inform York Region Public Health every time your child receives a vaccination.

  2. A child’s immunization record is missing infant immunizations and/or booster doses.

    A child’s record with York Region Public Health may not show the immunizations he or/she received as an infant or booster doses received as a toddler. As a child gets older, there are additional doses of the same vaccine (booster doses) required for a child to be fully immunized. To meet the vaccination requirements, a child’s immunization record must show that all of the required vaccine doses have been received at the correct age.

    Please send us the dates and the names of the vaccines your child received as an infant and all of the booster vaccinations received before starting school.

  3. The Ontario immunization requirements are not met.

    A child’s immunization record does not meet the minimum vaccinations outlined in Ontario's Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule as required under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA). A child may have received immunizations too early or may not have received enough doses of a specific vaccine (booster dose(s)). Vaccinations must be given at the right time and age for a child to develop complete immunity.

    For example, a child may have received less than the required doses of polio vaccine or the last dose was given before the child was four years of age. Also, booster doses for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis are required if it has been more than ten years since the last vaccine doses was received. A booster for this vaccine is usually required between 14 and 16 years of age.

  4. The exemption process has not been completed.

    A parent or guardian may have requested an exemption, but have not yet forwarded the completed exemption form to York Region Public Health or have not completed the immunization education session. To ensure the exemption is valid a ‘Medical Exemption Form’ or a ‘Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief’ must be completed and signed. As of September 1, 2017, if a non-medical exemption is requested the parent or guardian will need to complete an in-person immunization education session as well.

  5. A child was immunized outside of Ontario or Canada, or an immunization record is unavailable.

    Children with immunization records from another country or children who do not have an immunization record may require ‘catch-up’ immunizations. Please contact your doctor to review your child’s immunization history and determine if your child is able to receive the required immunization. Please inform us when your child has received the required immunizations so we may update your child’s immunization record.

    If your child is attending school, you may also obtain the recommended immunization identified in the Ontario's Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule at one of our community immunization clinics.


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Where to get vaccinated


You can receive publicly funded vaccines free at your family doctor’s office or a walk-in clinic. If you received a letter from York Region Public Health, take it with you to the doctor’s office to make sure you get the vaccines you need.

York Region Public Health offers community immunization clinics where school-aged children can catch up on their shots. Community clinics are held at convenient times, including evening appointments, in Keswick, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.

Book an appointment at a clinic near you by calling York Region Public Health at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73044 or book online on the community immunization clinics page.

After you book an appointment find out what to expect at an immunization clinic.

When to get vaccinated

Following Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule is the best way to protect the health of your child. You can find a copy of the immunization schedule on the second page of the Parent’s Guide to Immunization fact sheet.

Vaccination helps everyone

The more people that are immunized, the less likely a disease is to spread. When your child is immune, you not only protect your child, you also protect those unable to receive certain vaccines and those who have weaker immune systems — the very young and the sick.

Related Resources

A Parent’s Guide to Immunization fact sheet

External Resources – learn more about immunization and download their app to help you track immunization information – includes information about Ontario’s vaccine schedule and vaccine safety, plus videos on the importance of getting vaccinated.


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