New Immunization Requirements for School Attendance

September 5, 2014

Huron County, ON – The Huron County Health Unit reminds parents and caregivers that three vaccines in the province’s immunization schedule are now required for students to attend school.

Effective July 1, 2014, changes to the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) require students to have immunizations against pertussis (whooping cough) and meningitis. Children starting junior kindergarten this year must also receive the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.

“These vaccines are in the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule for Ontario but were not previously required for school attendance,” says Public Health Nurse Shirley Chalmers. “The changes help further protect children and communities against vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Ontario students are already required to receive immunizations against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.

Health units are required to keep immunization records of all students. The Huron County Health Unit usually receives immunization information from parents and caregivers through the school registration process. The copy provided to the school is sent to the Health Unit.

If your child receives a vaccine after they have registered for school that information is not automatically shared between physician offices and the Health Unit. Be sure to report these immunizations to the Huron County Health Unit so that your child’s records are kept up to date.

To report an immunization or to ask questions about these changes, please contact us:

  • Call 519.482.3416 or 1.877.837.6143, ext. 2329
  • E-mail
  • Fax 519.482.9014

BACKGROUNDER about the required immunizations:

Pertussis is included in vaccinations given at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months, as well as the 4 – 6 year booster. It is also in the booster given to high school students.

Meningitis vaccine is now given at one year of age. A second type is given to 12-year-olds in grade 7. Both are now required depending on the age of your child. The grade 7 vaccine is offered in school-based clinics.

Children born in 2010 require two doses of the varicella vaccine for school attendance. Varicella vaccine is given to children 15 months old with a second dose given with the age 4 – 6 booster. The second dose may be combined with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Older children are not required to have the vaccine but it is recommended.

Creating Healthy Communities Together


Our media contact is: Rita Marshall, Communications Coordinator, Huron County Health Unit, 519.482.3416 or toll-free 1.877.837.6143 ext. 2023 or

Our spokesperson is: Shirley Chalmers, Public Health Nurse, Huron County Health Unit. Our media contact will connect you to our spokesperson on this topic.


For more information contact:

Susan Cronin, County Clerk
519.524.8394 (ext 3257)