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Health unit continuing to update vaccine records

By CJ Goater Mar 7, 2024 | 12:55 PM

TBDHU Logo - Via TBDHU Facebook

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has begun sending out letters to guardians of students in senior kindergarten and grade one who have an incomplete vaccine record.

Unlike high school and grade two to five students, there are no suspensions attached to the outgoing letters.

Ontario Public Health Standards mandates health units to ensure that they have class lists of students who are attending schools as well as daycares so they have an idea of who’s immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases and who’s not.

“So right now there have been cases of measles, meningococcal, and pertussis reported recently in Canada, and these infections can spread really easily in a setting like a school or a childcare setting and can potentially cause really serious illness,” explained the Manager of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Program Laura Dennis. ” In the event that there was a case of, measles or another vaccine-preventable disease in a school that can be transmitted easily, we would be able to respond very quickly and be able to ensure that those who aren’t protected stay home from school, ultimately stopping the spread of the disease efficiently and keeping everyone safe in that setting.”

Although the health unit will eventually need all your required vaccine info, this round of letters is specifically looking for infant immunization series records.

Babies are recommended to receive immunizations at the ages of two months, four months, six months, one year, 15 months, and 18 months, and that will ensure that they’re fully protected until they turn four when they’re eligible to receive booster dose for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella.

“We’re not sending the notices if they haven’t received that booster that’s generally given between the ages of four and six, because they still have time in that age range to get that booster,” explained Dennis. “We’re sending them if we don’t have a record of their infant immunization, so we wanna make sure that they have a record.”