child rolling up sleeve getting vaccine from a doctor

This Version Posted: October 23, 2020

Immunization (Vaccination)

Immunizing babies and young children protects them from diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella.

Students in schools are required to be immunized against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps and rubella. In 1990, the Ontario government passed a law called the “Immunization of School Pupils Act” (ISPA). This Act requires health units to collect and maintain the immunization records of all students attending schools. Health units maintain records of the immunization status of all children.

In the event of an outbreak of one of the designated diseases, unvaccinated children are excluded from school until the Medical Officer of Health is satisfied the outbreak has ended. With appropriate legal documentation, exemptions based on medical, religious, or philosophical reasons are allowed.

If students do not provide an immunization record or legal exemption, they may face suspension from school until documentation of immunization or until the health unit receives the exemption.

Similarly, children attending Child Care Centres/Daycares are required to have their childhood immunizations up to date.

For more information about vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization in Ontario, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.