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18,643 students in Waterloo Region received suspension notices due to outdated immunization records. Pi News


Pi News –


About 19,000 elementary school students in Waterloo Region are at risk of being suspended because of outdated immunization records.

On Monday, the local health department announced that 18,643 students had been ordered to suspend. That’s three times more than in a typical year before the pandemic, according to health officials.

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Families who have been notified now have six weeks to update their children’s immunization records, get the necessary vaccines or apply for an exemption before the suspension orders take effect on March 27. Students who fail to do so will be suspended for up to 20 days.

“The goal is not to deter children,” said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, a Waterloo Region public health specialist. “The goal is to increase vaccination rates to protect children from these vaccine-preventable diseases, which unfortunately we’re starting to see now.”


According to Wang, it is not surprising that the number of students with outdated records has increased, since this is the first year that the public health department has implemented vaccination requirements before the pandemic.

“It has often been difficult for parents to keep their children up-to-date on vaccines during the pandemic because their primary care physician’s offices are closed,” he said.

What vaccines are required?

According to provincial requirements, all students must be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningitis, whooping cough and chicken pox, unless they qualify for an exemption.

Parents and/or caregivers are responsible for reporting their child’s vaccinations to public health or reporting exemptions.

According to Wang, about two-thirds of those 18,643 students are suspected of having the required vaccines, they just haven’t updated their records.

Medical centers have also been set up to help students who lack the necessary vaccines.

A suspension order for high school students will be issued later this year.

In January, the health department said vaccination records for 22,000 elementary and 10,000 high school students were out of date.


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