Immunizations help protect children from serious diseases that circulate in our communities. Immunizations are especially important in a child care setting. According to the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 11, Sched. 1, all children attending a child care setting must be immunized.
In the HPEPH area, the Medical Officer of Health requires that children are immunized against diseases outlined in Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules.
Child Care Operators must ensure parents complete the provided form, as well as attach a copy of their child’s immunization record. Child Care Operators must fax this information to Public Health at 613-966-8145. If a child’s immunizations are not up-to-date, Public Health will contact the Child Care Centre. Child Care Centres are then asked to follow up with parents/children. Failure to send in the information, or have children vaccinated, may result in the child being excluded from care.
If a child’s vaccinations are out of date, parents will be provided one month to get their children immunized, to retrieve the information about previous immunizations, and to send the information to Public Health.
Exemptions from Vaccination
Some children are not immunized, either due to serious illness or allergy, or their family’s beliefs. Families who wish to exempt a child from vaccination must review and sign a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief.
The exemption form must be signed and stamped by a commissioner of oaths, notary public or a justice of the peace. The form must then be provided to Public Health by mail or in person, and a second copy must be on file at the Child Care Centre.
Medical exemption forms are also available (for severe medical allergies or conditions where immunization is not indicated), and need to completed filled out by a physician. If you need these forms, please contact Public Health at 613-966-5500 ext. 221.
What Happens if a Child is Not Vaccinated?
When children are not vaccinated, they are at a much higher risk of becoming ill with the specific diseases that vaccines prevent, and spreading these diseases to others. When signing exemption forms, parents need to know that if there is a disease outbreak at their child’s daycare or school, the Medical Officer of Health will not allow the unvaccinated child to attend until the outbreak is over. This is done to protect their health and the health of other children.
Immunizations for Staff of Child Care Centres
All employees of Child Care Centres must be vaccinated as recommended by the Medical Officer of Health (According to Ontario Regulation 137/15 under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014) . This includes people who live on the premises, as well as students and volunteers in the Child Care Centre. The HPEPH Childcare Staff and Volunteer Pre-Employment Immunization Form is available to help Child Care Centres organize this information.
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) – one dose is needed by adults followed by Tetanus Diphtheria (Td) every ten years.
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) – two doses of MMR vaccine, or laboratory evidence of immunity, for adults born in or after 1970; adults born before 1970 can be considered immune.
- Varicella (chickenpox) – if no known history of chickenpox infection.
- Hepatitis B
Tuberculosis (TB) Screening:
Please note that HPEPH no longer requires routine screening of all childcare employees. TB screening is required for individuals who are at high risk of active tuberculosis according to the Canadian TB Standards. This includes: child-care staff, students and volunteers who have lived and/or traveled outside of Canada to a country where TB is common or lived and/or worked in a First Nations Community.
If an individual meets the HPEPH criteria for TB screening, this screening must be completed within the 12 months before starting employment (or following any possible exposure to Tuberculosis, i.e., visiting a high-risk country or area).
Employee Exemptions from Vaccination
Employees who are not immunized due to serious illness, allergy or philosophical beliefs may receive an exemption. View, download and print the Provincial Exemption Form “Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief”. The form must be signed and stamped by a Commissioner of Oaths, Notary Public or Justice of the Peace and kept in the employee’s file.
Where can I get Vaccinated?
Vaccinations are available through a primary care provider. If it is not possible for an individual to receive vaccination through a primary care provider, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health provides publicly funded vaccinations by appointment. Please bring any previous immunization record to the clinic when attending.