Diphtheria, measles, polio, tetanus, rubella (German measles) and mumps are serious childhood diseases. As of July 1, 2014, there have been three more diseases added to the list: meningococcal disease, pertussis (whopping cough) and chickenpox. The best prevention we have against these diseases is immunization. As many children as possible must be immunized to stop the spread of them through the community.
To ensure the protection of children and the public, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care administers a universal school immunization program as part of the Immunization of School Pupils Act. Under the act, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) is legally required to collect and maintain a complete immunization history on all children enrolled in a school.
Parents provide immunization information when registering their child for school. There is a new form required by Public Health for all children newly registering in Kindergarten or transferring into an Upper Grand school from outside our area. The new form is available on the Admissions and Registration web page. Take this form to the school secretary who will forward the information to Public Health.
All current elementary and secondary school students will now have to update their immunizations to include the three new diseases. The chickenpox vaccine is required only for those children who were born in 2010 or later. As well, students who have not had a diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccination in 10 years require a booster shot. Check with your doctor, nurse practitioner or call your local Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health office to make an appointment. Take your child’s Yellow Immunization Card with you.
If you update your vaccinations at a Public Health Clinic, the information will be reported by the staff there. If you go to a nurse practitioner or family doctor you must call the WDGPH Immunization line at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4389 to report the update.
You may decide because of medical, religious or philosophical reasons not to immunize your child. In this case, contact WDGPH for an exemption. If one of the nine diseases appears in your child’s school, your child may have to stay out of school until the disease is no longer present.
Students who fail to provide proof of immunization or an exemption form will be suspended from school by WDGPH under the School Immunization Act.