Immunizations for School-Aged Children and Youth

Reporting Immunizations to TBDHU

  • Parents and/or guardians are responsible for reporting their child’s immunizations to their local public health unit so an up to date record is on file for the student.
  • Public health units in Ontario are required to keep up-to-date immunization records for every student in relation to nine designated diseases as outlined in the Immunization of School Pupils Act.  
  • Public health units will review immunization records of all elementary and secondary students annually to ensure they are up-to-date.
  • Reporting immunizations to the health unit allows for timely review and action if there is a report of a vaccine preventable disease in a school.

 

Immunization of School Pupils Act

The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires that all students have proof of vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), polio, measles, mumps and rubella (German measles), meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), and chickenpox (required for children born in 2010 or later). Vaccines that protect against these infections are free in Ontario through Ontario’s Routine Immunization Schedule.

 Grades 2-5 and High School – 2023/24 School Year

  • TBDHU is enforcing the ISPA including a suspension process for students in Grades 2-5 and High School. For more information, see the sections below.

Senior Kindergarten-Grade1 and Grades 6-8 – 2023/24 School Year

  • TBDHU will NOT enforce the suspension process.
  • Immunization records for students in Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1 and in grades 6-8 in Thunder Bay and surrounding areas will be assessed and parents/guardians will be notified regarding missing vaccines or information.
  • However, these students may be eligible for suspension in future school years if they are missing vaccines or information from their records.

Families/Students with Specific Needs

  • Families with specific needs should contact TBDHU as we can work with families to provide individualized support as needed.

Children Starting School in Ontario

  • Children who are starting kindergarten, previously home schooled, previously attended a private school, or attending school in Ontario for the first time must submit a copy of their immunization record to TBDHU so staff have an accurate history of the child’s vaccines to determine whether the child has all the vaccines required under the Immunization of School Pupils Act.
  • See the Students Entering School in September 2024 section below for details on how to submit this information.

 

Vaccines for Students in Grades 7 and 8

 

Vaccines for High School Students

 

Students Entering School in September 2024

TBDHU needs a copy of the immunization records of all students entering school in September 2024, including children who:

  • are starting kindergarten
  • were previously homeschooled
  • previously attended a private school
  • will be attending school in Ontario for the first time

 

Where to get a missing dose of vaccine

Students who miss a vaccine clinic at school will receive information in the mail explaining options. Students who need vaccines can access immunizations through:

 

Recent High School Graduates Missing Routine School-Aged Immunizations

Over the last few years, some young adults may have missed opportunities to receive publicly-funded vaccines that have age or grade-based eligibility. Ontario has temporarily expanded the eligibility criteria for some of these vaccines. Recent high school graduates who think they may have missed publicly funded vaccines that are routinely given in school should call 807-625-5900 or their local branch office to speak to a nurse to see which vaccines they are eligible for, which may include:

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV-9) Vaccine
  • Meningococcal Conjugate (Men-C-ACYW) Vaccine
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine

You should also stay up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines. See the COVID-19 vaccines webpage for more information.

 

Immunizations for Home Learners

Students learning from home may be missing vaccines. Families can call TBDHU at 807-625-5900 to speak with a nurse. 

 

Exemptions

  • Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, your child can be exempted from immunization for medical reasons or due to conscience or religious belief.
  • No part of the ISPA affidavit can be altered (e.g. clients writes in COVID-19 vaccine) in any way and no public health unit, including TBDHU, can accept the altered document. 
  • If a parent/legal guardian does not agree with any part of the affidavit, they must attach a separate letter or note that can be submitted with the affidavit.

 

For Further Information

Call a vaccine nurse at (807) 625-5900 or Toll-Free at 1 (888) 294-6630.

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