TBDHU ramping up school immunization programming

December 1, 2023 - The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) is moving forward with its usual process of enforcing the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) to ensure students are protected against vaccine preventable diseases. This includes the review and assessment of all student immunization records, notification to parents/guardians when missing vaccines or missing information, and vaccination clinics to support routine and catch up immunizations.

For the 2023/24 school year, the full ISPA process of suspending students with incomplete vaccine records will be enforced for students in grades 2-5 and in high schools across Thunder Bay and surrounding areas. For District communities, ISPA-related activities are being developed and will be communicated directly with parents/guardians, schools, and health care providers. Prior to any suspensions, parents/guardians of students will receive notices and be provided with opportunities to complete their immunization record.

For students in Thunder Bay and surrounding areas, TBDHU has issued communication to the parents/guardians of all high school students to notify them of the ISPA process and about opportunities for routine and catch up vaccines at upcoming school vaccine clinics. Parents/guardians of all high school students with incomplete vaccine records – where students are either missing vaccines or their records are missing information - will also receive communication from TBDHU well in advance of the suspension period. TBDHU will send notices to parents/guardians of grades 2-5 students in Thunder Bay and surrounding areas in the coming months.

For all high schools in Thunder Bay and District communities, TBDHU will visit every high school over the next two months to offer routine and catch up vaccines to students. TBDHU is also offering further vaccination opportunities, including evening and weekend clinics and clinics held throughout Thunder Bay and surrounding areas to help students catch up on vaccines and avoid suspensions.

TBDHU continues to provide routine school-based clinics twice a year for grades 7 and 8 throughout TBDHU area and receive updated immunization records for students of any grade. This is particularly relevant for junior and senior kindergarten students and grade 1 students. Parents of children in that group are encouraged to submit immunization records to TBDHU if they have not already done so.

More information and contacts

TBDHU will continue to work with schools and communicate with parents/guardians through the ISPA enforcement process. Information will also be shared through TBDHU’s website and social media.

More information about the ISPA and recommended vaccines for school-aged children and youth is available at TBDHU.com/schoolimmunizations.

Families or students who have special needs in order to comply with ISPA requirements are encouraged to contact the TBDHU at 807-625-5900. TBDHU provides individualized support to families as needed.


For more information - Health Unit Media: news@tbdhu.com.

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