Immunization rates improve in Windsor-Essex

(Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / casanowe)

Public Health Ontario has released its latest report on student immunizations, and it suggests an upward trend in Windsor-Essex.

The report looked at students in three categories: those who are seven-years-old, 12-years, and 17-years. The Immunization of School Pupil Act requires vaccinations for nine diseases for all students in elementary and secondary schools.

Vaccination rates for students in grade two ranged from 87.1 per cent for varicella to 96.8 per cent for rubella. The percentage of students who had their MMR shot for measles, mumps and rubella was above 90 per cent.

Almost 83 per cent of grade seven students had received their meningococcal disease shot.

The rates for the MMR vaccine were slightly higher among grade 12 students. For rubella, 98.6 per cent had the vaccine; 97.2 per cent for measles, 96.9 per cent for mumps. Other vaccination rates ranged from 81.3 per cent for diphtheria to 94.2 per cent for polio.

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit said immunization rates had improved since the 2015-16 school year when it increased access to immunization records and implemented a suspension process for incomplete documents. Rates for ISPA diseases are now similar to or higher than the provincial average.

The percentage of students in the region with medical or non-medical exemptions remains low. Only 0.3 per cent of seven-year-olds and 0.2 per cent of 17-year olds had a medical exemption. For non-medical, 3.4 per cent of grade two students were exempt, slightly higher than the provincial average; and 2.6 per cent of grade 12 students.