Is your child’s vaccination immunization record up-to-date with the health unit?

Students without updated information may face suspension from school

MANITOULIN—The Sudbury and District Health Unit (SDHU) is still waiting to hear from many parents about the status of their children’s immunization records.

This year, the SDHU has reviewed over 27,000 student immunization records to ensure that students are up-to-date for age according to the Immunization of School Pupils’ Act.

The Immunization of School Pupils’ Act requires that parents/guardians of students attending elementary or secondary school provide proof of immunization against designated diseases. Children who do not have the required immunization records or valid exemptions may be temporarily suspended from school by order of the local Medical Officer of Health.

Many people do not know that it’s the parent’s responsibility to report their child’s immunization record to public health when their child starts attending school. Not all health care providers forward immunization records to the Health Unit. The health unit is experiencing an unusual year due to the recent changes to the Immunization of School Pupil’s Act. These changes have as resulted in the administration of additional doses of previously required vaccines and doses of new vaccines. We are trying to be diligent in ensuring the accuracy of our records and compliance with the Act/protection of children.

“We are just over 50 percent complete with our annual review of student immunization records,” states Lisa Schell, manager with the Clinical and Family Services Division. “While we appreciate and understand that parents with young children have very busy schedules we’re asking everybody to remain patient as we all work together to accommodate parents and make this process as simple as possible.”

If your child has received a notice about school suspension, parents can simply: Call the Health Unit at 1-866-522-9200 and let a public health nurse know the details required for your child; fax the Health Unit at 705-677-9616 with a copy of your child’s yellow vaccination call; or visit the Health Unit or district office in person.

“We have scheduled an immunization clinic for this Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 10 am to 4 pm at our Paris Street office,” said Ms. Schell. “We’re hoping this can help parents find the time to update records and have their children vaccinated if necessary.”

If your child requires immunization, contact your health care provider or the SDHU. The health unit offers a free immunization clinic by walk in or appointment.