Get your kids immunized and update your records with the school board.

That is the message from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to parents with kids attending school within the Trillium Lakeland District School Board. They have revealed the numbers of students that could potentially be suspended from area elementary schools in the New Year.

Notices are being sent home to 2,900 Grade 2 and Grade 8 students. Parents are being advised to get immunizations up to date and records submitted through the health unit’s website or risk having students be kept home this coming February or March.

The cohort of students is being broken up into two groups, with the first group risking suspension by February 7th, 2019. The next group could be kept home starting on March 21st.

In the spring of 2018, nearly 1,700 high school students received a notice from the health unit that their records were not up to date.

By August of this year, 1,200 were sent a second notice which was a suspension order. Of that group, 193 students were suspended on September 27th. They were then readmitted once records were updated.

Vaccinations cover a number of diseases, that could be quite dangerous if they began to spread through lack of immunizations.

They include:

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Meningococcal Disease
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)

Mary Ann Holmes is the Program Manager, for the Immunization Program Clinical Service Department. She advises there are some kids that will attend school every year who 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.” That is because if there is an outbreak the health unit can identify those kids at risk and remove them from the school population.