You are here


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:






Helps the body create a better immune response


Sugar, gelatin

Helps improve vaccine quality andstability



(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

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, you have to report them directly 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.

How to update your child’s immunization records

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

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

Elementary school immunization program

Public health nurses visit schools to offer your child additional vaccines.  Please note the meningococcal vaccine is now a mandatory* vaccine for your child to attend school.

Find out when we will be at your child’s school.

Vaccines offered:



# doses


 Fact sheet & consent (PDF format)

 (boys & girls)   

Meningococcal A-C-Y-W135 (Menactra)*


 Any time in grade 7

Menactra (meningococcal) fact sheet & consent form

Hepatitis B 
(Recombivax or Engerix)


 4-6 months apart

Hepatitis B fact sheet & consent form

(girls only)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil)


0, 1-2, 6 months

HPV fact sheet & consent form

Choosing not to immunize your child

Immunization is not mandatory in Ontario. However, choosing not to immunize your child is a serious decision. If you make this decision, you must follow these steps:

  • File a legal exemption, which must be notarized and signed by a Commissioner of Oaths*
  • Give original copy of legal exemption to Public Health

If an outbreak occurs, even with an exemption on file, unimmunized children will be excluded from school until the outbreak is over.

*A Commissioner of Oaths is empowered to administer and witness the swearing of oaths or solemn affirmations in the taking of an affidavit for legal matters. Commissioners include: Head of Municipal Council, Clerk or Deputy Clerk, Treasurer or Deputy Treasurer, Reeve or Depute Reeve, Lawyer, Member of Provincial Parliament.