Students could get suspended if their immunization records aren’t updated.
Public Health Nurse, Annie Morissette and Acting Coordinator of Clinical Services, Erin Vereyken, both from Renfrew County District Health Unit (RCDHU), stress that parents/guardians and students should get vaccinated or educated on the subject.
They say that there are certain diseases, under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, that students need to be vaccinated against. Morissette says that some students can’t get vaccinated due to medical reasons (undergoing chemotherapy or allergies to a component of the vaccine). For others, although it’s their choice, they should be protected. Those who choose not to be are required to fill out a conscious exemption form and are invited to an education session.
Even though, it’s a choice, Morissette says that, should an outbreak of a disease occur at school, unimmunized students will be asked to stay at home. At the end of the day, it’s the Health Unit that holds the power and although it’s not their goal, a student could be suspended up to 20 days.
Vereyken says that a first wave of immunization notices were sent out at the beginng of January and that the second wave is coming this week, for those who still haven’t followed through. Vereyken adds that they want to work with parents. The RCDHU now offer a way to update immunization status online. For more information, click here.