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Immunization

Stay Well. Vaccinate.

Vaccines save millions of lives. It is important to understand how vaccines work and how they can give your child protection against diseases.

Listen to this message about vaccination, vaccine records and school from Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer.

In Canada all vaccines are extensively tested and are licensed for use only after they are proven safe by Health Canada. Continuous safety monitoring takes place at the provincial, national and international levels even after a vaccine is approved.

It is important to understand what ingredients are in vaccines and why they help to make them safe and effective. 

Watch this video from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to see what vaccines do, how they work and what makes them safe: How Vaccines Work.
 
Use of vaccine ingredients:

INGREDIENT

EXAMPLES

USE

Adjuvants

Aluminum

Helps the body create a better immune response

Stabilizers

Sugar, gelatin

Helps improve vaccine quality andstability

Preservatives

Thimerosal

(only found in multi-dose vials such as the flu vaccine)

Helps keep vaccine free of contaminants

The ingredients listed are found in trace amounts in vaccines and can also be found in everyday products such as deodorant, food and water.

Get the facts about vaccines

As a parent you may have questions about vaccinations. It is important to get vaccine information from a credible source like the Canadian Paediatric Society to make an informed decision.

Read this information on vaccine myths from Health Canada, which gives answers to questions or concerns that you have about vaccinating your child. If you are looking for further information, talk to a healthcare professional or local Public Health Nurse about how vaccinations can protect your family. 

Recommended immunization schedule for children

It’s important for children to get their immunizations on time– as babies, before daycare, in elementary school or in high school.  You can do this by following the Ontario immunization schedule which offers age-specific vaccine information.

Download a free mobile application (app) to manage your family’s immunizations. It’s available at Immunize.ca.

How to update your child’s immunization records

You can report your child’s immunizations directly to us by:

  • Using the online form at ImmunizeWDG.ca
  • Mail: 160 Chancellors Way, Guelph, N1G 0E1
  • Phone: 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4396
  • Fax: 519-836-7215

Childcare (daycare)

To protect all children attending a licensed childcare setting in Ontario the Day Nurseries Act, 1990, Reg. 262, s.62(4) states you must provide one of the following:

  • A complete history of your child’s immunization to Public Health
  • A valid written exemption if you decide not to immunize your child because of medical, religious, or philosophical reasons.

    • PLEASE NOTE:  at the time of school entry a signed medical exemption form from your physician or nurse practitioner or a statement of conscience or religious belief affidavit signed by a commissioner of oaths will be required.

This responsibility is part of the work of Public Health. We take the well-being of your children seriously.

School-aged children

The Government of Ontario requires Public Health to collect, screen and keep up-to-date records of immunizations for students, according to the Immunization of School Pupils Act. Children who go to school must have up-to-date immunizations or a legal exemption on file with Public Health. You should give immunization information to the school when registering your child. When your child gets additional immunizations, make sure they're reported to Public Health.

If your child has an incomplete immunization record they could be suspended or excluded from school until we receive proof of the required immunizations. Our nurses work with schools and parents to get immunizations up-to-date.

We want your child to have the safest and healthiest school year possible.

High school immunization clinics

We hold immunization clinics to help high school students catch up on their missing vaccines. When those clinics are scheduled, they'll be listed here.

Exemption from school vaccinations

Every child who attends school is required to have up-to-date vaccinations or a legal exemption form on record with Public Health. 

The vaccinations required for school attendance are:

If you choose not to vaccinate your child, it is important to understand the
risks and responsibilities.

Complete the Exemption from School Vaccination form to exempt your child from one or more vaccinations. Submit this completed form to Public Health with one of the following legal documents:

  1. Statement of Medical Exemption signed by a physician or nurse practitioner
  2. Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit signed by one of the following authorized commissioners who may charge a fee for service:
    Clerk, deputy clerk or treasurer of a local municipality
    Head of municipal council, reeve or deputy reeve of town, member of city council
    Administrative head (building standards, welfare, assessment or planning)
    Barrister or solicitor allowed to practice law in Ontario
    Provincial judge or justice of the peace