FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 18, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. | Windsor and Essex County
In an effort to improve the reporting of immunizations to the Health Unit, and give access to individuals to maintain a current immunization record, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has launched a Provincial online immunization reporting system; Immunization Connect Ontario (ICON).
ICON provides the community access to their immunization record if a record exists (WECHU has immunization records dating back to the mid 1970’s) with the Health Unit. The record is stored in a provincial database, in a cloud environment so that this information will be accessible online to the patient anytime, anywhere. To access the information, a Health Card number or an immunization identification number and a PIN are used for security measures. This secure online service gives one the ability to:
- View their Health Unit immunization record.
- Report immunizations online.
- Report their child’s (under the age of 16 years) immunizations online.
- Print their immunization record and their child’s immunization record.
- See when an immunization or booster is due.
The launch of ICON is timely as approximately 4200 students born in 2000 and 2001 with incomplete immunization records received immunization notices on December 11, 2017.
These notices informed students of vaccine(s) that were missing from the student’s record. Students in Grade 11 and 12 are encouraged to provide updated information using ICON, or to book an appointment to receive any immunizations needed.
“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. “The Meningococcal vaccine is only available to students for free from the Health Unit, and we have partnered with the School board to provide this vaccine to students that need it at some school clinics. All other vaccines are easily available from community health care providers”. She urges all students to avoid suspension by getting any missing vaccines and remembering to update their immunization record online by March 19, 2018 to avoid suspensions on March 20, 2018.
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 this information to the Health Unit. Any student that is unable to receive immunizations for medical reasons has the option to complete and return a signed medical exemption. Those that do not get vaccinated for religious or personal beliefs are also required to bring in an exemption form (a statement of conscience 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 www.wechu.org.
There are four easy ways to update an immunization record:
- Enter the information online to ICON
- Call the Healthy Schools Department at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit at 519-258-2146 or 1-800-265-5822 ext.1222
- Fax the immunization record to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit to 519-258-7288
- 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)