School Immunization Requirements

In Ontario, as per the Immunization of School Pupils Act, 1990 (ISPA), all students between the age of 4-17 must provide proof of routine childhood immunization with Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Meningitis, and Varicella (for children born in 2010 and after), or have a valid exemption, in order to attend school.  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 enforce ISPA and assess the immunization status of children in accordance with the Immunization for Children in Schools and Licensed Child Care Settings Protocol, 2018.

You can 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.

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, update immunization records with the health unit, or complete a valid medical or philosophical exemption.  A second assessment of records is completed in January and 2nd notices are sent out to students whose records are still showing incomplete. The 2nd notice is sent with a school suspension order to take effect in late March for any students in the focused cohorts who remain non-compliant with the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

Additional Ministry of Health Resources:

This means that according to Health Unit records, your child is missing a required vaccine that is part of Ontario Routine Immunization Schedule.

The reason you are receiving this letter is likely for one of four reasons:

  1. Your child received this required vaccine, but the Health Unit has not been given a record of it.
  2. Your child has not received the required vaccine.
  3. Your child has received the vaccine but not at the right time (as per the Ontario Routine Immunization Schedule). To get the best protection possible, the age that a vaccine is given is important, as is the timing between vaccines. For example, all children must have two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine given on or after their first birthday and with the two doses at least four weeks apart.
  4. A valid medical exemption or conscious/religious exemption for immunization has not been submitted to the Health Unit.

The Health Unit requires proof of immunization against the diseases listed below.  To meet these requirements vaccines must be given according to Ontario Routine Immunization Schedule. As your child gets older, new immunizations are required. For example, students require a tetanus booster (TdaP-IPV) at 4 years of age and another one 10 years later (Tdap).

According to Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), students must be fully immunized against the following diseases:

You can also visit our Vaccine Fact Sheets page to learn more about the required vaccines.

If your child has received the required vaccine and it was given at the right time according to the Ontario Routine Immunization Schedule, please report this information to the Health Unit. If you don’t know when the vaccine was given, check your child’s immunization record (yellow card) or call your family doctor for this record. Vaccines can be reported to the health unit by any of the following methods:

​Online:

https://bchu.org/public-health-topic/emunization 

​Phone:

519-753-4937 ext. 451

​In Person:

194 Terrace Hill St., Brantford
Mon.– Fri., 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

​After hours:

Drop box located outside front entrance, near McMurray St.

​Mail:

194 Terrace Hill St., Brantford

​Fax:

519-753-2140

When reporting immunizations to the Brant County Health Unit, please include:

  • Correct spelling of child’s name
  • Date of birth
  • Health Card number
  •  Daytime phone number
  • Date and name of vaccine given
  • Name and phone number of family doctor (if applicable)

It is a parent or caregiver’s responsibility to provide the Health Unit with their child’s immunization information when attending daycare and/or school. Doctors are not required to do this for you.
Every time your child receives an immunization, make sure to report this to the Health Unit.

All required immunizations are free. You can receive missing vaccines from:

  1. Your Family Doctor: Contact your family doctor’s office to book an appointment for immunization – it is often helpful to bring the received notice letter with you so the required vaccines can be reviewed. Once the vaccination is received, be sure to report it to the Health Unit. Note: For Students 12 years and older who require immunization against Meningococcal disease, family doctors must special order this vaccine from the health unit, please let them know ahead of time when booking this appointment. Students can also receive this vaccine at a Health Unit clinic or their high school clinic, no health card is required.
  2. The Health Unit: The Health Unit will be holding clinics onsite at high schools (no appointment required) and will also be hosting a number of catch-up clinics at the Health Unit – see tabs below for further clinic details.

BCHU will be hosting an ISPA drop-in clinic at Lynden Park Mall (84 Lynden Rd., Brantford, Ont.), inside entrance #4, on the following dates:

  • March 26 between 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • March 27 between 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • March 28 between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Students born in 2014, 2015 & 2016, who have been suspended, can drop in to have their immunization records reviewed or to receive any missing vaccines. No appointment is necessary.

Please bring your child’s vaccine record and, if possible, their Ontario health card.

Brant County Health Unit offers immunization services at the Health Unit for any elementary student facing a barrier to getting in with their family doctor and any high school student unable to attend their school-based clinic. Please note a health card is not required to access services. To book an appointment call 519-753-4937 ext. 451. Immunization services are not available on a walk-in basis.

Please include these details in your message:

    • Student’s first and last name
    • Date of birth
    • Health card number
    • Daytime telephone number where you can be reached
    • Preferred clinic date and time

CLINICS – by appointment only:

  • March 1 9am-12pm
  • March 7 9am-12pm
  • March 12 1pm-6pm
  • March 14 9am-3:30pm
  • March 19 3pm-6pm

If your child cannot receive the required vaccine(s) for a medical reason (evidence of existing immunity, health condition, or serious allergy),  you must have your family doctor or nurse practitioner complete a Medical Exemption Form and provide this record to the Health Unit.

If you choose not to have your child immunized due to conscience or religious belief, please be advised:

  • Your child may expose people with weaker immune systems to vaccine preventable diseases that can make them very sick (e.g. newborns, cancer patients, older adults).
  • Your child is at risk of becoming very sick with vaccine preventable diseases.
  • If there is a disease outbreak at your child’s school, the Medical Officer of Health may order your child not to attend school until the outbreak ends.

To register an exemption from vaccination for your child due to conscience or religious belief, you will be required to complete the following:

1. Complete an Immunization Education Session through the health unit which covers:

  • Basic information about immunization
  • Vaccine safety
  • Immunization and community health
  • Immunization law in Ontario

Once complete, you will be provided a Vaccine Education Certificate.

Call 519-753-4937 ext. 451 to book an appointment. These sessions are offered several times a year and can be completed virtually or in-person as needed.

2. Complete a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit and get it signed by a commissioner for taking affidavits in Ontario. The Vaccine Education Certificate must also be brought to the commissioner to demonstrate the completion of the required education session as outlined on the affidavit.

Persons authorized to sign affidavits for exemptions include:

3. Present the original copy of the signed Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief form and Vaccine Education Certificate to the Health Unit – we will take a photocopy of these records and provide you back with the original documents. Note: It is your responsibility to keep these documents for future reference as needed.