Immunization Requirements for School

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.

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?

  • If you do not have copies of your child’s immunization record, contact your health care provider to obtain a copy.

 

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).  

Immunization exemptions

 

Medical Exemption

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)a Statement of Medical Exemption is accepted. A parent/guardian must complete a standardized ministry approved exemption form.

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.

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

  • 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

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), parent(s)/guardian(s) who choose to exempt their child from required immunizations for non-medical reasons, must complete the following steps:

 

STEP 1: Watch the online Vaccine Education Video by Ontario’s Ministry of Health.

  • The video is 28 minutes long. The video has closed captioning/subtitles.
  • The Vaccine Education Video covers:
    • Basic information about immunization
    • Vaccine safety
    • Immunization and community health
    • Immunization law in Ontario

 

STEP 2: Complete the electronic Attestation Form

This form is to certify that you have watched the entire “Vaccine Education Video”, without fast-forwarding or skipping any parts. You must complete an attestation form before you can receive an Education Session Certificate.

If you complete the attestation form and do not have additional questions that you wish to speak to a nurse about, you will be able to receive the completed certificate via e-mail or mail to your home address. Certificates will be sent within 10 business days from the date of completion. This certificate may be needed to get your non-medical exemption form witnessed and signed. Keep the copy for your records, you will not need to submit it as Ottawa Public Health will automatically upload a copy into your child’s file.

The person who completes the attestation must be the same person who completes the affidavit.

 

STEP 3: Fill out the Statement of Conscience and Religious Belief – Immunization of School Pupils Act form and return it to Ottawa Public Health

Have the affidavit signed by a Commissioner of Oath. Please note, there may be a fee required for this service and your Education Certificate may need to be provided. You may visit one of the City of Ottawa Service Centre locations for this service. 

Keep the original form and send the completed copy to Ottawa Public Health by one of the following: 

  • Fax: 613-580-9660
  • Mail: Ottawa Public Health Immunization Unit, Mail code: 26-42, 100 Constellation Drive, Ottawa, ON  K2G 6J8

 

IMPORTANT: E-mailing personal information to Ottawa public Health is not recommended. Email communication to Ottawa Public Health should only be used for general inquiries. By using email to communicate to Ottawa Public Health, you are accepting the risk and responsibility that the security of personal information cannot be guaranteed.

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

All the steps above must be completed before Ottawa Public Health can process the student’s non-medical vaccine exemptions. If there are any questions about the documents submitted, OPH will follow-up with you directly. 

 

 

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.

Looking for more information?

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

Do you have more questions about parenting?

  • Connect with a registered nurse from Health811 for free, secure, and confidential health advice. Service is available 24/7 in English and French, with translation support also offered in other languages. Call 8-1-1 or visit Health811.ontario.ca.
  • Connect with a Community Navigator from 2-1-1 for information about community programs and resources across Eastern Ontario. Helpline service is available 24/7 and in many different languages. Call 2-1-1 or visit 211ontario.ca.
  • Connect with other parents on the Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page.
  • There are a variety of services to make it easier for your child to grow up healthy in Ottawa.
  • You can update your child's immunization record using either the CANImmunize App or the Immunization Connect Ontario (ICON) Tool
  • If you have received a message from Ottawa Public Health such as a letter or a call regarding immunization, an infectious disease, or infection control lapse, please call 613-580-6744 and listen to the menu options carefully.

 

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