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Options For Students Facing Immunization Suspensions

(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting that there are 3,589 students in Windsor and Essex County who are facing a suspension notice because of incomplete immunization records. The notice informs parents and guardians which vaccines are missing, how to get contact the Health Unit to provide updated information, and how to book an appointment for immunization to avoid a suspension once the February 28 deadline arrives.

Students are required by the Immunization of School Pupils Act to be inoculated against nine diseases, including Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Meningococcal Disease, and Varicella (chickenpox). Grade 7 are also given the opportunity to be immunized, for free, against hepatitis B, meningoccal disease, and HPV at school.

Beginning Tuesday, February 28, students with incomplete records can be suspended from school for up to 20 days. Suspended students may return to school the same day only after obtaining a letter from the Health Unit rescinding the suspension.

However, students are eligible for exemptions from the immunization requirement and may avoid being suspended from school. Exemptions are available for medical reasons or for conscience or religious beliefs. Parents or guardians must complete an affidavit and have it on file at the Health Unit.

If children cannot be immunized because of medical reasons, their family doctor can complete a Statement of Medical Exemption.

Contact the Health Unit by calling 519-258-2146 or 1-800-265-5822 and selecting extension 1222 to obtain a Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit package. The affidavit must be signed and stamped by a commissioner of oaths, notary public, or justice of the peace and the original must be returned to the Health Unit.

Contact the WECHU for more information by calling 519-258-2146 or 1-800-265-5822 and selecting extension 1222.

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