Vaccinations Necessary for Back-to-School

(Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr)

It may be a good idea to put “immunizations” on the to-do list for back-to-school.

In Ontario, kids are required to be protected against nine different diseases now. The “Immunization of School Pupils Act” was amended this summer to add three more to┬áthe original six.

There are consequences if a student doesn’t have up to date vaccinations.

“The child could face suspension from school if they don’t get the vaccine or complete one of the exemption affidavits,” says Marlene Price, Manager for the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Program.

Price says, technically, if every student except one got their vaccines, that one student would still be safe from the diseases. However, the “herd mentality” of every student getting a vaccine is meant to keep those that are unable to get vaccines safe.

“There are some children, say, if they’re undergoing chemotherapy or for some other medical reason can’t have a vaccine, that’s why it’s important for everyone else to be vaccinated.”

It may be difficult to keep track of what immunizations your child has. Price says that doctor’s aren’t the ones who keep someone’s immunization record. That responsibility falls on the health unit, and there’s no communication between the two.

Parents are asked to send their child’s information to the health unit to keep track of it. Near the beginning of school parents will receive a package of information asking for their child’s immunization record.

If a child is moving from a different city, they are asked to forward their information from┬átheir old health unit to London’s.

Price also says it’s important for children to get their vaccinations on schedule to provide the best protection from disease.