New Immunization Requirements For School Aged Children

New Immunization Requirements For School Aged Children

This past winter a viral infection that had been eradicated in North America made a comeback, partially due to dropping immunization rates. Measles outbreaks in Ontario and Alberta have prompted the Ontario Government to implement tougher vaccination requirements for school-age children.

Beginning in September, Ontario students will have to show proof they have been vaccinated against chickenpox, whooping cough (pertussis) and meningococcal diseases before they enter school. Students are already required to prove they have been immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, polio and diphtheria. Less than two per cent of Ontario students are exempted for medical, religious or philosophical reasons.

The tougher immunization rules means that some children may be faced with school suspension until their vaccination records are updated.

In addition to requiring proof of three new vaccines, the province has updated dose requirements for tetanus, diphtheria, polio and mumps. It’s recommended that parents check with their family physicians to make sure their children meet the new requirements. Requirements for measles and rubella immunizations have not changed.

It is important that parents report their children’s immunization history to Ottawa Public Health (613 580-6744, ext. 24108 or email