Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/March 14, 2016 - Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) has been working with local schools to ensure student immunization records are up-to-date. Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, public health is required to maintain up-to-date immunization records for all students. This year, parents of children aged 7 and 17 have until April 15th to get this information updated with public health.
“We prefer to not suspend students, which is why we send out two rounds of notices and offer extra immunization clinics. Parents still have plenty of time to get their children’s immunization records up-to-date,” says Bill Sherlock, Program Manager with HPEPH. “We just sent out the second round of notices this week,” he added.
As of February, a total of 2,000 notices were sent to parents of children age 7 and 17 as an initial notice to update their child’s immunization records. As of March, a total of 1,200 students will receive final suspension notices. However, it is important to note that students still have plenty of time to update their immunization records prior to the actual suspension date of April 15th.
In the event of an outbreak, public health staff must be able to act quickly and advise those who are not immunized so they can take actions to protect themselves. Without up-to-date immunization records, public health cannot reach unprotected people as quickly. Requiring proof of immunizations also prompts parents to ensure their child’s immunizations are current, which will help protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
“If your child received a suspension notice, we are asking parents to check their child’s immunization records,” added Mr. Sherlock. “If records are up-to-date, please notify public health. If your child requires additional immunizations, please make arrangements to vaccinate your child, either through your health care provider or at a public health clinic. It is important for parents to notify public health after their child has been immunized.”
To find an immunization clinic near you, visit the HPEPH website at www.hpeph.ca or call 613-966-5500, ext.221 or toll-free at 1-800-267-2803, ext.221.
About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) operates one of 36 health units across Ontario. HPEPH provides dozens of programs and services, along with reliable health information, to a population of approximately 150,000 people in a 7,000 square km catchment area encompassing 17 municipalities. HPEPH's mission is to enable the people in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties to achieve and maintain optimal health through health protection and promotion, as well as disease and injury prevention. For more information, please visit www.hpepublichealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Program Manager, Communicable Disease Control
Phone: 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 245