In Ontario, as per the Childcare and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA), all children who attend a child care centre must provide proof of routine childhood immunization with Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Meningitis, Varicella, Haemophilus influenzae typ b, Rotavirus, and Pneumococcal, or have a valid exemption. This information is used to help protect students and the public in case there is a vaccine preventable disease outbreak in our community. The Health Unit is mandated to assess the immunization status of children in accordance with the Immunization for Children in Schools and Licensed Child Care Settings Protocol, 2018.
You can also visit our Vaccine Fact Sheets page to learn more about the required vaccines.
Each year, the Brant County Health Unit assesses the immunization records of students around the age of 7 and the age of 17 to ensure students are compliant with immunization requirements. Students who fail to provide proof of immunization, or a valid exemption, may be suspended from school for up to 20 school days. This year (2023-2024 school year) the focused cohorts are the following birth years: 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
A first assessment of immunization records is completed in July and 1st notices sent out to students whose records with the health unit are incomplete. This 1st notice provides information on how to obtain any missing immunizations and/or update immunization records with the health unit. A second assessment of records is completed in late fall and 2nd notices sent out to students whose records are still showing incomplete. The 2nd notice is sent with a school suspension order which will take effect in February for secondary students and March for elementary students.
If your child is unable to be immunized for a medical reason or immunization is unnecessary because your child has evidence of immunity, have your doctor or nurse practitioner complete a Medical Exemption form and submit it to the Health Unit.
Philosophical or Religious Exemption
If you choose not to vaccinate your child, be aware:
- Your child may expose people with weaker immune systems to diseases that can make them very sick (e.g. newborns, cancer patients, older adults).
- Your child is at risk of becoming very sick.
- If there’s an outbreak at your child’s school, the Medical Officer of Health may order your child not to attend school until the outbreak ends.
To exempt your child from immunizations for conscientious or religious reasons, you must fill out an exemption form, have the form signed by a commissioner for taking affidavits in Ontario and return original to the Health Unit. A copy of the exemption must also be provided to the daycare facility.