On May 7th, the Perth District Health Unit mailed out 98 suspension orders to Perth County students whose immunization records are not up-to-date. This school year, Public Health Nurses have reviewed and assessed 12,833 immunization records that belong to Perth County students.
The suspension orders take effect on Tuesday, May 28. Students who receive an order and whose immunization record remains incomplete that day will not be allowed to attend school. However, there is still time to avoid suspension. “We do not want any children to miss school because the Health Unit does not have an up-to date immunization record”, says Lorna Askes, Public Health Nurse. “The Health Unit can remove suspension orders up until May 27 if we receive the required immunization information or a valid exemption”.
Health Unit staff have been contacting families to get missing records, or to advise them on which immunizations are needed. They have also been holding immunization clinics at Health Unit offices.
Families who receive a suspension order need to:
* report their child’s immunization record to the Health Unit (if they have received the vaccine); or
* arrange to have the vaccine through their doctor’s office/nurse practitioner’s office and then report the information to the Health Unit; or
* make an appointment to have the vaccine through the Health Unit by calling 519-271-7600 ext 223 or toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 ext 223; or
* call the Health Unit to request an exemption counselling session and legal affidavit.
“It is the parent’s responsibility to report all immunizations to the Health Unit. If the Health Unit has a completed record for your child, they are not at risk of suspension”, says Askes.
How to Update the Health Unit:
* By confidential fax: Ask your doctor’s/nurse practitioner’s office to fax a copy to the Health Unit or fax a copy yourself to: 519-271-2785.
* By email: Scan or take a picture of the immunization record and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Watch for an auto-response confirming that your email was received. If you don’t receive this auto-response, please call 519-271-7600 ext 223 or toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 ext 223).
* By phone: Call 519-271-7600 ext 240 or 273; toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 ext 240 or 273.
* In person: Bring your child’s yellow card to the Health Unit at: 653 West Gore Street, Stratford; Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.
* Online: Report immunizations online at www.pdhu.on.ca using your Ontario health card.