Over 6,500 students to get immunization reminders
Lambton Public Health is asking parents and guardians to ensure their children are up to date on their routine immunizations.
As required in the Immunization of School Pupils Act, parents and guardians must report routine childhood vaccines to the health unit.
Acting Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karalyn Dueck said 6,589 letters will be sent out, up from 2,614 three years ago.
“Students were out of school and we weren’t doing routine vaccines in schools and a lot of things were closed, so now is the time to catch up,” said Dr. Dueck.
Unlike some jurisdictions, student suspension orders for non-compliance in Lambton County have been paused for the 2022-2023 school year, in order to allow time to catch up on shots that may have been missed over the past three years.
“We would like to get those records of immunization against the designated diseases under the Immunization of School Pupils Act as soon as possible, unless there’s a valid exemption on file,” said Dr. Dueck. “This is really to help protect students from illness and outbreak, and it depends on the circumstances, but at this time the suspensions are paused.”
Earlier this month, the Middlesex-London Health Unit said up to 4,000 students could be suspended from school, as of February 15, if their immunization records weren’t updated.
Letters will be sent home with area high school students in February while elementary school students will receive letters in the spring.
Records include immunizations for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, mumps, rubella, measles, meningitis, whooping cough and chicken pox.
Immunization records can be checked and reported by visiting Immunization Connect Ontario.
Reporting immunization records can also be done by emailing a copy or photo to email@example.com or by mailing or dropping off a copy to LPH at 160 Exmouth St. in Point Edward.
– With files from Stephanie Chaves