Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), all school students must be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, and varicella/chicken pox (chickenpox is only required for children born 2010 and after).
If students are not immunized for medical or personal reasons, a legal exemption is required. Find out more about Exemptions.
When parents/guardians enroll a child in a school, they need to complete the School Entry Immunization Questionnaire and provide a copy of the child’s immunization record to the health unit.
You can get your child immunized with your health care provider or at the health unit. Learn more about health unit clinics.
Yes! Your health care provider doesn’t usually tell the health unit when your child is immunized, so it is a parent’s responsibility to report that information. The health unit needs to have your child’s immunization information if s/he is in child care or in school. Report your child’s vaccines to Public Health.
School Suspensions Related to Immunizations
Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, Medical Officers of Health have to have an immunization record on file for every school student in their area (i.e. Elgin County). Having a student’s immunization record on file will also help Southwestern Public Health find out who is at risk if there is an outbreak. If there is an outbreak, students who do not have proof of immunization or immunity cannot be at school until it is over or they are immunized.
Each year, Public Health Nurses review the immunization records of all students in Oxford and Elgin County to make sure that immunizations are up to date. If a student is not up to date, the Public Health Nurse will send an Immunization Notice to the parents/guardians to let them know which immunizations are overdue.
Your child may be suspended from school if the immunization is not completed by the date on the notice.
If you received a notice for your child, it is because we do not have complete information for your child for one of the following reasons:
You have not reported your child’s complete immunizations to Southwestern Public Health.
Your child is overdue for one or more immunizations.
- Contact your child’s doctor/health care provider to obtain immunization records or to make an appointment to receive the required immunization(s). Once you receive the information and/or your child is immunized, report your child’s vaccines to Public Health.
- You may also book an appointment at a Public Health immunization clinic by calling 1-800-922-0096. You can book an appointment online for our St. Thomas and Aylmer clinics.
You have chosen not to have your child vaccinated (for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons) but have not provided us with a completed legal exemption form.
Find out more about Exemptions.
Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, the Medical Officer of Health has the authority to order the person who is in charge of the school (principal/vice principal) to suspend students from school who have not been fully immunized, or who do not have an exemption on file.
Students who have been suspended may return to school once the health unit knows the immunization has been completed or an exemption has been received. Book an appointment at the health unit or report your child’s immunizations.