Students born in 1999 and 2000 with incomplete immunization records have received their second immunization notice this week from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU). The notices advised students of which vaccine(s) were missing, how to get in touch with the Health Unit to provide updated information, and how to book an appointment for immunization to avoid school suspension.
Final suspension notices for students whose records are still incomplete at the end of the month will be mailed to the student’s home February 1, 2017. Students will have until February 27th to update their immunization record.
Beginning Tuesday, February 28, 2017, students born in1999 and 2000 who have yet to comply will be suspended from school for up to 20 days. Once updated vaccine information is provided to the Health Unit, the student’s immunization record will be updated and the student, parents/ guardians, and the school principal will be informed that the suspension has been lifted and the student can return to school.
“It’s important for the Health Unit to have up-to-date immunization records for all students,” said Judy Allen, manager of the Healthy Schools program at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. “Many don’t realize that it is the parent or student’s personal responsibility to keep immunization records up-to-date with the Health Unit; their health care providers are not required to forward this information to the Health Unit.”
The Health Unit will be providing extra immunization clinics, including evening clinics to assist those who do not have a primary health care provider to get missing vaccines before the suspension date.
WECHU has been reviewing the immunization records of all students registered with our school boards in an effort to keep our community safe and healthy from the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.
These actions have been put in place to meet the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), which became law in 1990. The law protects the health of children and the community by ensuring students are up-to-date with their immunizations in an effort to stop the spread of preventable diseases. There are nine immunizations required for school aged children:
- Meningococcal Disease
- Varicella (chickenpox) *proof of this vaccine is required for children born in 2010 or later.
Immunizations are shown to be safe and effective for lowering the risk of getting sick from a variety of diseases. Everyone in Ontario is encouraged to get all the required and recommended immunizations. Some students may be eligible for exemptions (e.g., due to medical reason such as an allergy). Exemption forms can be obtained by calling the Health Unit or visiting www.wechu.org.
There are four easy ways to update your child’s immunization record:
- Call the Healthy Schools Department at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit at 519-258-2146 or 1-800-265-5822 and select extension 1222
- Fax the immunization record to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit at 519-258-7288
- Input the information online to the secure reporting system at immune.wechu.org
- Bring the updated immunization record to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in person to one of the following locations between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday:
Windsor: 1005 Ouellette Ave. Windsor, Ontario N9A4J8
Essex: 360 Fairview Ave. West, Suite 215 Essex, Ontario N8M 3G4
Leamington: 33 Princess Street, Leamington, Ontario N8H 5C5
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (NEWS)