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Students require proof of three more vaccinations before heading back to school

The Peterborough County-City Health Unit is advising parents that starting in September, children need to have proof of immunization against meningococcal disease, whooping cough and chickenpox to attend school. 

In most cases, children will have already been vaccinated against these three diseases as they are currently included in the publicly funded immunization schedule for Ontario. As of July 1, 2014, the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) changed to require these vaccines to attend school.

“These changes will improve the health and safety of our school children by ensuring they are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases and reducing the risk of outbreaks in schools,” said Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health. “Doctors do not report vaccination information to the Health Unit, so we want parents to understand it is up to them to ensure their child’s vaccination record with us remains current.”

The Health Unit is reporting that there are still a number of local students with incomplete vaccination records. Under the ISPA, students can be suspended from school if they do not have the required vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, and now meningococcal disease, pertussis (whooping cough) and varicella (chickenpox). There is no cost to receive these publicly-funded vaccines.

Parents and caregivers are being asked to provide the dates of these vaccinations to the Health Unit. The healthcare provider who gave the vaccine should be able to confirm the date(s) it was given.

If a student requires a catch-up immunization to meet the updated requirements for school attendance, most are available from their regular healthcare provider. Those who do not have a healthcare provider can make an appointment at the Health Unit’s Routine Immunization Clinic 705-743-1000. Catch-up immunizations clinics for the meningococcal vaccine will be offered in the fall for secondary school students who still need this vaccine.

To check if your child has up to date vaccinations, or to report the dates that your child received vaccinations, please call the Peterborough County-City Health Unit at 705-743-1000.

For a full list of vaccines children need to attend school, visit www.pcchu.ca, and click under Parent & Caregivers – Immunization.

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