Grey Bruce Public Health will be holding vaccination clinics this summer for students who are entering senior kindergarten to Grade 5 in September and require one or more publicly funded, routine vaccines.
The clinics, which will be held in Owen Sound and Hanover, are part of Public Health’s ongoing and focused efforts to support students in getting up to date on routine vaccines, prevent school suspensions, and increase the percentage of students meeting the requirements of Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA).
“Vaccines are a safe, effective way to protect students, their families, and communities from potentially serious infectious diseases. Having high vaccination rates among students is also the best way to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases at our schools,” explained Dr. Rim Zayed, Physician Consultant at GBPH. “During the COVID-19 emergency, many students fell behind on routine vaccines. While we encourage students to get any overdue vaccines from their primary care provider, Public Health will be holding clinics to assist students who may not have a provider or are experiencing challenges with getting an appointment so they can catch up on the vaccines they need before school resumes.”
Vaccine clinics for students born between 2013 and 2018 will be held July 27 and Aug. 23 at the Grey Bruce Public Health building in Owen Sound and July 19 and Aug. 17 at the P&H Centre in Hanover. Clinics will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To assist parents who work during the day, Public Health will also be extending to 6 p.m. the hours of its June 22 vaccine clinic at the GBPH building in Owen Sound.
Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule outlines the routine vaccines that all children and adolescents without a valid exemption must receive to attend primary or secondary school. The ISPA mandates Public Health Units to maintain and review immunization records for every student attending school within their jurisdiction and enforce a suspension for students with incomplete vaccine information or overdue immunizations unless a medical or non-medical exemption is in place.
“Grey Bruce Public Health is making every effort to assist parents in preventing their child from being suspended from school due to a missed vaccine or incomplete record. Letters with information on any missed vaccines and how to update immunization records were sent to parents whose children require vaccinations. Public Health is also using social media, its website, and other communication tools to advise parents of ISPA requirements and where routine vaccines are available,” said Public Health.
Parents/guardians whose children are up to date on all required vaccines are asked to ensure their immunization records with Public Health are also updated. Immunization information can be accessed and updated using the online ICON tool: https://gbhu.icon.ehealthontario.ca/#!/welcome
Along with the student clinics, GBPH will be holding regular vaccine clinics throughout the summer for anyone needing a publicly funded vaccine. A calendar of clinics is available on the GBPH website.
Appointments, which are required for GBPH vaccine clinics, can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 (Press 2).