Muskoka area parents of children aged seven and seventeen will have to go digging around junk drawers looking for immunization records or their kids could face suspension from school in September.

Currently, over 5,000 immunization records are not up to date says Mary Ann Holmes of the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit. That includes 3,800 kids aged seven, typically heading into the second grade, and 1,700 teens starting Grade 12. The number is not higher than in previous years which is good, she says, but it is an ongoing battle to keep the records up to date.

The last thing the Health Unit wants to do is prevent kids from going to school, but the fact is instances of measles outbreaks have become more common as some parents choose to not vaccinate based on online arguments and celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy advising of possible health threats to vaccinating children.

 

 

Immunizations can be done through the Health Unit office by making an appointment. Go to the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit Website   .

Holmes advises there are some kids that will attend school every year that have not had their vaccinations as parents have applied for a waiver based on religious or their general beliefs.

“If they choose for religious or conscientious beliefs that they don’t want to immunize their child they can do that,” she explains. “But they do need to let us know they made that choice.”

And that is because if there is an outbreak the Health Unit can identify those kids at risk and remove them from the school population.

Holmes also says that “children undergoing chemotherapy due to cancer cannot have their immunizations.”