News Release: Only One Month Remains to Update Student Immunization Records
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. | Windsor and Essex County
On March 20, 2018, students born in 2000 and 2001 with incomplete immunization records will be suspended from school for up to 20 days.
In an effort to keep our community safe and healthy from the spread of vaccine preventable diseases, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has been reviewing the immunization records of all students registered with the school boards.
Approximately 4300 students born in 2000 & 2001, with incomplete immunization records at the Health Unit, received immunization notices in December 2017. Many students have updated their records; however 1806 records remain incomplete. A final suspension notice was mailed to their home address today. The notice specifies which vaccine(s) are missing from the student’s record, how to update immunization information, and how to book an appointment for immunization.
Students born in 2000 & 2001 with incomplete immunization records as of Tuesday, March 20, 2018 will be suspended from school for up to 20 days. As soon as the required vaccine information is provided to the Health Unit, the student’s immunization record will be updated and the student 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. “Extra immunization clinics were provided in many secondary schools to assist those who do not have the meningococcal vaccine, which is only available for free from the Health Unit”.
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.
It is important to know that health care providers are not required to forward immunization information to the Health Unit. The Windsor Essex County Health Unit has launched on online tool “Immunization Connect Ontario” (ICON) that provides students with the ability to access their immunization information and update their record online. For students that have a medical reason, or conscientious or religious beliefs that prohibit vaccination, an additional option is to complete and return a signed, original exemption form (a medical exemption, or a statement of conscientious or religious belief) to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. Completion of an educational session provided by the Health Unit will be required for all non-medical exemptions. Please see https://www.wechu.org for more information.
There are four easy ways to update your immunization record:
- Enter the information online to ICON, the secure reporting system at immune.wechu.org
- Fax the immunization record to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit at 519-258-7288
- 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
- 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)