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HKPR focusing on required student immunizations



DAN CEARNS The Standard


KAWARTHA LAKES: The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) is continuing to try to get children back up to date with their immunizations.

“The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) is sending a final reminder to parents/legal guardians to ensure their child is up to date on their immunizations and to update their child’s vaccination record with the Health Unit to avoid suspension from school this February,” an HKPR press release, sent out on Thursday, January 11th, stated. “The Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) R.S.O.1990 requires all students in Ontario to be vaccinated, or have a valid exemption, against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease and varicella. The HKPR District Health Unit is required to maintain and review vaccine records and exemptions for every student attending school within the City of Kawartha Lakes, the County of Haliburton, and Northumberland County. Those with incomplete records are at risk of being suspended from school for up to 20 days.”

According to the health unit, there is “an unprecedented number of over 1,374 students [who] have not updated their vaccination records.” However, the health unit also notes there have been 2,700 immunization records updated since the Autumn of 2022.

“As part of our continued work to prevent the spread of vaccine preventable diseases our teams have been working diligently with local school boards to support parents through the process of updating vaccines and records with the Health Unit. I am proud of the progress we’ve made and would like to deliver thanks to all the parents and legal guardians who have taken the steps to updates their child’s immunization record,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Natalie Bocking said, in a statement.

HKPR expects to send out “1,374 suspension notices to parents of students in Grades 3 and Grades 9 to 12,” and “If the Health Unit does not receive the required information for a student’s immunization file, they will be suspended from school starting February 5, 2024.”

The health unit is offering clinics for school aged children in Lindsay on Monday, January 22nd, Wednesday, January 24th and Monday, January 29th. These clinics are for children who may be missing a vaccination. Appointments at these clinics can be booked by calling 1-866-888-4577 extension 1507 or online at hkpr.inputhealth.com/ebooking.

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