For almost all children, immunization is the best way to protect against many dangerous diseases. People with serious medical conditions or with severe allergies sometimes cannot get vaccines. They depend on others around them for protection against vaccine preventable diseases (herd immunity.)
In order to attend school or child care, all students must either be up to date with immunizations or have an exemption.
Having exemptions on file will help Public Health find out who is unprotected if there is an outbreak at the school or child care. If there is an outbreak, students who are not protected against the disease will have to stay home from school or child care until the outbreak is over or until they are immunized.
If your child is not immunized or not completely immunized know your risks and responsibilities.
- Learn about the diseases that your child is not immunized against – how they’re spread, symptoms, complications
- Watch your child and those around him/her for signs of the diseases your child is not protected against
- Tell anyone who provides care for your child that your child is not immunized at all or not completely immunized – this includes doctors and nurses at walk in clinics or emergency departments
- A written record of the vaccines your child has not received may be helpful – healthcare providers may recognize the disease more quickly if they know your child’s immunization history
- Your child may be at higher risk of some diseases if you are traveling to other countries. Some diseases are no longer common in North America because of immunization. For example, measles and polio are still common in other parts of the world but don’t happen as often here. Vaccination is the best way to prevent certain diseases.
- It’s never too late to start! If you chose not to have your child immunized but have changed your mind call your healthcare provider or public health to get your child immunized.
Medical and Non-Medical Exemption forms are legal documents. To be accepted, these documents:
- Must be notarized
- Cannot be changed in any way
- Must be the exemption form for children in childcare if your child is in childcare
- Must be the exemption form for children in school if your child is in school
Exemptions for children in childcare
Exemptions for children in school