On April 16th, 2014, the Ontario Government announced stricter immunization requirements for children to attend any of Ontario’s public schools.

Until now, Ontario children were required to receive the following vaccines as a pre-requisite to entering grade school:

  • Five DTP (Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus) vaccines
  • Two MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccines

Effective this fall, the following government-funded vaccines will be added to this list of required immunizations:

  • Pertussis vaccine
  • Meningococcal vaccine
  • Chicken Pox vaccine (if child born in 2010 or later)

 What does this mean for Ontario parents and children?

  • If your child has received the routine government-recommended childhood vaccinations, then in all likelihood there is nothing to do other than to ensure that the school has up-to-date records of your child’s immunization status.
  • If your child did not receive the routine government-recommended childhood vaccinations, then it is important that you take measures to bring your child’s vaccination status up to date and in line with the school requirements. Call your child’s primary care provider (pediatrician, family doctor, nurse practitioner)  as soon as possible to make the required arrangements. Otherwise, your child may not be permitted to attend school for the 2014/15 year.
  • If you or your doctor believe(s) that your child should not receive the routine government-funded childhood vaccinations, then it will be important to clarify these reasons with the school and your local public health unit as soon as possible.

If, for whatever reason, you require further information or assistance, please speak with your child’s primary care provider and/or appropriate school representative (teacher, principal, public health representative) and/or your local public health unit.