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Keeping school children safe

Did you know it is the responsibility of parents and guardians of school-aged children to provide up-to-date immunization information to York Region Public Health?

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, all children under age 18 attending school must maintain an up-to-date immunization record with their local public health unit. These immunizations include measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, meningococcal diseases, pertussis (whooping cough) and varicella (chicken pox). Students can be suspended if they do not receive the required vaccinations or if documentation of an exemption is not provided.

Currently children receive most childhood vaccinations through their primary care provider. Parents are provided with an updated record of their child’s vaccinations, typically the yellow immunization card and in turn, are responsible for updating their child’s immunization record with York Region Public Health. Updates can be made by phone, fax or online at eimmunization.york.ca

When outbreaks occur at York Region schools, Public Health is required to quickly determine students who may be at risk, including those whose immunization history is not up-to-date or those with exemptions, which are available to children who are unable to receive a vaccine for medical reasons or due to conscience/religious beliefs. For students who are under-immunized, often a vaccine can be administered within a set period of time to help prevent them from getting sick. The student may also be removed from school to ensure their safety and the safety of others.

York Region has the third largest student population in Ontario, with more than 194,000 students in 400 schools. Approximately 86% of seven-year-old students in York Region have up-to-date immunizations, which is above the provincial average of 79%. 

Get more information on immunizations or contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933.




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