Over 30,000 students have outdated immunization records in the region

By CityNews Kitchener Staff

Region of Waterloo Public Health launched a campaign Monday to help get 32,000 students the vaccines they are missing and need for their records to stay up to date.

Public health said in a release that about 22,000 elementary school students and about 10,000 secondary school student do not have up to date vaccination records.

This notice is for the nine diseases where vaccination is required by law through the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

That includes protection against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Meningococcal, Pertussis (whooping cough), and Varicella (chickenpox).

“We are working closely with local school boards and our community partners to reach as many families as possible. Our priority is to keep kids healthy and in school,” said David Aoki, Director of Infectious Diseases and Chief Nursing Officer with Region of Waterloo Public Health.

“We do multiple layers of notifications, we give lots of time and were running these clinics right through to the last minute before the suspension date, so people have all the opportunity they can to get their child in and get them immunized.”

Students whose records have not been brought up to date will receive a second notice in February for elementary school students and April for secondary schools students. The second notice is to provide an additional four weeks to get those records up to date before a school suspension would take place.

“The goal of this is to increase our coverage rates so that if a disease should come into a school, that we have as much protection as possible so it doesn’t spread throughout a class or a school,” said Aoki.

“This is the first year we’ve run our notification system entirely since COVID. We’re seeing numbers we expected based off the fact we haven’t run this program in four years.”

If you received a notice from public health, here are the following options:

The deadline for student records to show those vaccinations are Mar. 27 for elementary students and May 1 for secondary students. If the student has not had their vaccination records up to date by this deadline, they could face suspension from school (there might be religious exemptions).

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