The Immunization of School Pupils Act is a law in Ontario that states all students at school must be fully immunized against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German measles). Your doctor usually starts giving these needles when your child is a baby. The Medical Officer of Health can suspend any student who has not had the right number of needles for their age.
What if I don’t want my child to have any needles?
This is only allowed if:
A statement of medical exemption is completed by your doctor.
A statement of conscience or religious belief is completed then signed by a person with special legal authority. This is a serious decision.
Recommended but not required vaccines:
- Pertussis (whooping cough), and Haemophilus b (Hib) vaccines are recommended. Your doctor usually gives them in the Diphtheria, tetanus, polio needles up to age 5.
- In grade 7, Hepatitis B and Meningococcal C-ACWY vaccines are recommended. They are given free by public health nurses at school.
- In grade 8, Gardasil (Human Papillomavirus vaccine) is recommended for females. It is given free by public health nurses at school.
- At age 15-19, Meningococcal C vaccine is free. It can be given by your doctor.
- Each year, public health nurses go to high school to offer the required diphtheria, tetanus and optional pertussis booster to those who need it.
Parents/guardians will get a letter before any immunization event.
Certain other age groups and high-risk children may also get pneumonia, chickenpox and meningococcal C vaccines free from your doctor. Talk to your doctor about them.
What do I do when my doctor gives my child a needle?
It is the job of the parent/guardian to tell public health when the doctor gives a needle. It is not the job of the doctor. Ask the doctor to mark the immunization record card. Keep this card. It is your record. Tell public health about your child’s needle(s).
For more information, please contact a member of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Team by calling the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623.