Immunization Requirements for School

Attention all parents/guardians- Ottawa Public Health’s (OPH) annual immunization record assessment process will start September 2019.

Every year OPH assesses the immunization record of every child attending a school in the Ottawa area, to ensure their immunizations are up to date according to Ontario’s Immunization Schedule.

If OPH does not have an up-to date immunization record or a valid medical / non-medical exemption on file for your child, you will receive a Notice of Incomplete Immunization Record during our annual immunization record assessment process informing you which vaccine(s) are missing in your child’s immunization record at Ottawa Public Health. You are responsible for updating OPH every time your child gets a vaccine. 

Update your child's record

Immunization requirements for school attendance

Under the "Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)", children attending school in Ontario are required to be vaccinated against:

For more information about these diseases and the vaccines that prevent them, click on the diseases above.

When is Ottawa Public Health mailing letters?

For dates when letters will be mailed for children with incomplete immunization records, select the school board below that applies to your child.

OCSB (Elementary)

Notices Generated: October 9, 2019

Notices mailed: October 23, 2019

Must respond by: November 22, 2019

Suspension Orders generated: December 13, 2019

Suspension Orders mailed: December 30, 2019

Suspension start date: January 22, 2020

OCSB (Intermediate - High School)

Notices Generated: October 16, 2019

Notices mailed: October 30, 2019

Must respond by: November 29, 2019

Suspension Orders generated: December 20, 2019

Suspension Orders mailed: January 9, 2020

Suspension start date: February 10, 2020

CEPEO (Elementary – Intermediate – High School)

Notices Generated: October 23, 2019

Notices mailed: November 6, 2019

Must respond by: December 6, 2019

Suspension Orders generated: January 3, 2020

Suspension Orders mailed: January 16, 2020

Suspension start date: February 13, 2020

CECCE (Elementary – Intermediate – High School)

Notices Generated: October 30, 2019

Notices mailed: November 14, 2019

Must respond by: December 16, 2019

Suspension Orders generated: January 10, 2020

Suspension Orders mailed: January 23, 2020

Suspension start date: February 20, 2020

OCDSB (Elementary)

Notices Generated: November 6, 2019

Notices mailed: November 20, 2019

Must respond by: December 20, 2019

Suspension Orders generated: January 17, 2020

Suspension Orders mailed: January 30, 2020

Suspension start date: February 24, 2020

OCDSB (Intermediate - High School)

Notices Generated: November 13, 2019

Notices mailed: November 27, 2019

Must respond by: December 27, 2019

Suspension Orders generated: February 3, 2020

Suspension Orders mailed: February 13, 2020

Suspension start date: March 9, 2020

Private School

Notices Generated: November 20, 2019

Notices mailed: December 4, 2019

Must respond by: January 3, 2020

Suspension Orders generated: February 10, 2020

Suspension Orders mailed: February 20, 2019

Suspension start date: March 16, 2020

Why did I receive a Notice of Incomplete Immunization Record from OPH?

 You received this letter for one or more of the following reasons: 

  • OPH does not have an immunization record on file for your child.
  • Your child is missing one or more required vaccines to meet Ontario’s immunization requirements for school attendance.
  • Your child might be up to date with all of their required immunizations; however, you did not provide OPH with their most recent vaccine information.
  • Your child may have received invalid doses that do not meet the immunization requirements under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA).
  • OPH has not received a Ministry approved standardized medical or non-medical exemption form for your child to be exempted from receiving immunizations.
What do I need to do?

Step 1:

Compare the immunization record OPH has on file for your child (shown in your Notice), with your immunization records at home and with your child’s health care provider.

Note: Only vaccines required for attending a school are shown in your Notice.

Step 2:

If your child received the vaccine(s) listed as missing in your letter, update your child’s immunization record with OPH.

If your child is missing the vaccine(s) listed. Please have your child receive the vaccine(s) through their health care provider, a walk-in clinic or through the OPH immunization clinic. Update OPH once your child receives the vaccine(s).  

If you are having difficulty accessing publicly funded vaccines in the community and/or need a nurse to assess your child’s immunization record from another country, contact the OPH Information Centre at 613-580-6744, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Translated Notice in other languages

English 

Arabic 

Bengali 

Chinese 

Portuguese 

Russian 

Somali 

Spanish 

Vietnamese 

Why did I receive a Suspension Order from OPH?

You received a Suspension Order for one of the following reasons: 

  • OPH did not receive the missing information. There is still time to update OPH and avoid suspension if information is received before the suspension start date provided on the Suspension Order. If suspension has started, contact OPH at 613-580-6744 to review what is required to cancel the suspension.
  • OPH received your update after the “Return By Date” provided on the Notice of Incomplete Immunization letter. A Suspension Order is automatically generated if an update is not received by the deadline.

Immunization updates received online or by fax may take 5-10 business days to be processed. Once information has been processed, you will receive an email or automated voice message confirming if your child’s record is up to date or not. If you received confirmation that your child’s record is up to date, please disregard the Suspension Order you received. If you have not received confirmation, contact OPH at 613-580-6744 to review what is required to cancel the suspension. 

 Translated Suspension Order in other languages

English 

Arabic 

Bengali 

Chinese 

Portuguese 

Russian 

Somali 

Spanish 

Vietnamese 

Where can my child receive immunizations?

In Ontario, all immunizations required for children attending school are publicly funded. Immunizations can be given at your family doctor, a walk-in clinic or through the OPH Immunization Clinic.

If you are currently looking for a family doctor please register with Health Care Connect, and a nurse will help you find a doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients in our community.

OPH Immunization Clinic

The OPH Immunization Clinic provides immunization services to:

  • Newcomer families having difficulty accessing publicly funded vaccine and/or do not have OHIP coverage.
  • Newcomer families who need their child’s immunization record from another country assessed by a nurse.
  • Children 17 years and younger who do not have access to a health care provider.
  • Grade 7-12 students who missed their vaccine(s) in school.

This clinic is by appointment only. To book an appointment, please call the OPH Information Centre at 613-580-6744.

The clinic is open Monday to Friday, except on statutory holidays. Evening appointments are also available once a week.

Immunization exemptions

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)a Statement of Medical Exemption or Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief are accepted. A parent/guardian who is submitting a medical or non-medical must complete a standardized ministry approved exemption form.

In the event of an outbreak related to a vaccine preventable disease, any child with a conscience or religious belief exemption, and certain medical exemptions on file will be excluded from attending school until the risk related to the outbreak has ended.

Before submitting an exemption, we encourage you to speak with a nurse to discuss how to best protect your child from vaccine preventable diseases.

For any questions related to vaccines or the exemption process, call OPH at 613-580-6744 to speak with a nurse.

Medical Exemption

A medical exemption can be submitted if a child attending a school in Ottawa has a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the vaccine or there is evidence of immunity to the disease making further immunization unnecessary.

  • Print the Statement of Medical Exemption, Immunization School Pupils Act.
  • Have your child’s health care provider complete the form (you may be charged a fee).
  • Send a copy of the completed exemption form to OPH by:
    • Mail: Immunization Unit, Mail Code 26-42, 100 Constellation Dr, Ottawa ON, K2G 6J8; or
    • Fax: 613-580-9660
  • Keep the original for your own records.
Non-medical Exemption

As of September 1, 2017, parents/ guardians of students attending school in Ottawa seeking a non-medical exemption must attend an information session. To book an appointment to attend this session, call OPH at 613-580-6744.

The information session covers: 

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

At the end of the session, a Public Health Nurse will be available to answer your questions. You will then receive a Vaccine Education Certificate signed and dated by OPH. This certificate is needed to get your non-medical exemption signed.

Once your information session is complete:

  • Print and Complete a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief, Immunization School Pupils Act. The Statement must be signed by a parent/guardian in the presence of a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits, note that there may be a cost. You may also visit a City of Ottawa Client Service Centre.
  • Send a copy of the Vaccine Education Certificate and completed exemption form to OPH by:
    • Mail: Immunization Unit, Mail Code 26-42, 100 Constellation Dr, Ottawa ON, K2G 6J8; or
    • Fax: 613-580-9660
  • Keep the original for your own records.
New to Canada or Ontario?

Before your child attends a school in Ottawa, we recommend that you contact your health care provider or OPH to assess your child's immunization record. This will ensure that your child's immunizations are up to date according to the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario, and that they are fully protected against vaccine preventable diseases.

Do you have more questions about immunizations?

 

View Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule to find out which vaccine your child needs next.

 

Do you have more questions about parenting?

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