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Immunization suspensions coming for TLDSB students

Get those records up to date.

Parents of grade two and grade seven students at TLDSB schools need to get immunization records updated or risk suspension in February.

Deanna Thompson, the Immunization Program Manager for Simcoe Muskoka Health says a number of students are risking suspension if parents don’t get records uploaded to the regional health unit’s website.

“February 7th we have suspensions that will be enforced,” explains Thompson. “In Trillium Lakelands we have 140 students that have been mailed suspension notices.”

Thompson says that might mean there are missing dates on existing records or they are in fact behind on their immunizations. The reason it is important she says, is some diseases are making a comeback due to lower vaccination rates.

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“There are pockets of diseases such as measles, there are cases of pertussis, cases of meningitis as well,” says Thompson. “These are vaccine-preventable diseases.”

She says a very small percentage of parents are actually “conscientious” anti-vaccination supporters.

“We have about a three per cent rate of parents who may choose not to immunize for philosophical or religious reasons,” Thompson offers.

Those students are documented and should there be an outbreak of any disease they are not currently protected against, they are pulled from school until the threat passes. Thompson says the impact of famous anti-vaxxer actress Jenny McCarthy is not as high as previously thought.

“I don’t feel that Jenny McCarthy is as strong an impact as she was ten years ago,” says Thompson.

She estimates about 20 per cent of the 140 identified will result in actual suspensions.

“We have been working very hard following up with parents,” she says. “We sent notices out before Christmas, so I am hoping people have taken that opportunity to get records up to date.”

If you need to update your child’s records you can do it on the health unit’s website by clicking here. The health unit will also help parents find doctors who can do the immunizations and there will also be some clinics announced.

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