Being fully immunized protects children against diseases that can be dangerous and easily spread to others. HPEPH collects and maintains records for all daycare and school age children, in accordance with the Child Care Early Years Act (CCEYA) and the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA).
In Ontario, health care providers do not automatically report immunizations to their local public health agency. Parents and guardians are responsible for reporting their child’s immunizations to Public Health.
If you decide not to immunize your child, please review our Deciding Not to Immunize section at the bottom of this page.
Requirements for Daycare
Under the Child Care Early Years Act (CCEYA), children attending a licensed child care facility (and not attending school) must be immunized as recommended by the local MOH, or if a decision is made not to immunize, parents must provide public health with the the appropriate exemption documents. For children attending daycare, the CCEYA requires Public Health to have up-to-date immunization information for the following diseases:
- Haemophilus influenzae (type b)
- Meningococcal disease
- Pneumococcal disease
- Rotavirus (as eligible)
Requirements for School
For children attending school, the ISPA requires Public Health to have up-to-date immunization information for the following diseases:
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Varicella (chickenpox)*
- Meningoccal disease
* For children born in 2010, or later.
Which Vaccines are Provided at School?
HPEPH works with local school boards to deliver certain vaccines in the school setting. Grade 7 vaccinations (hepatitis B, HPV and meningococcal) are provided in local schools each year. All vaccines are provided free of charge. The school immunization program involves the following:
- Parents will be asked to sign and return a consent form before the clinic day. For more information, review our Grade 7 Vaccinations overview.
- On the clinic day, an experienced Public Health nurse will use different strategies to minimize any discomfort, like distracting your child and asking your child to relax his/her arm.
- It’s possible that your child may receive up to three separate shots, one for each immunization, during a clinic.
- Your child will receive the immunizations in the upper arms. On clinic days, they should wear clothes that will allow easy access to their arms. The nurse will ask your child some questions about his or her health before beginning the immunization(s).
- If your child is absent on the day of the immunization clinic, please contact us to make other arrangements.
- Sometimes students may experience minor side effects, such as pain, swelling or redness in the arm.
Deciding not to Immunize
If you decide not to immunize your child, you must submit one of the following notarized documents:
- Statement of Medical Exemption
- Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit for JK- grade 12
- Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit for Child Care Centres along with a cover letter.
Affidavits must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public or a Commissioner of Oaths prior to bringing the originals to a Public Health office.
If you are submitting a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief for school age children, you are also required to complete an education session offered through Public Health. Please call us at the number below to book an education session.