Grey Bruce Public Health will be holding vaccine clinics at area secondary schools in February and March to provide free, routine immunizations to eligible students.
Hepatitis B, Meningococcal, and HPV-9 (Human Papillomavirus) vaccines will be available for students in grades 9 to 12 who have not yet received these Grade 7 vaccinations, as outlined in the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario.
The three-in-one tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine will also be available for students who are due for their age 14-16 Tdap booster.
“Ontario’s publicly funded routine immunization program is a critical component of the province’s health care system. The bottom line is this: vaccines save lives, are safe, ensure our children and youth have the best protection possible against vaccine-preventable diseases, and reduce the risk of outbreaks in schools and the community,” says Dr. Rim Zayed, Physician Consultant at Grey Bruce Public Health.
This winter’s secondary school vaccine clinics are being held, in part, to address the backlog of students who missed certain routine immunizations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public Health has been undertaking a strategic, targeted approach since March 2022 to address this backlog and ensure the safety of this age group.
Secondary school students can give informed consent for themselves as per the Health Care Consent Act. However, Grey Bruce Public Health encourages parents/guardians to discuss immunizations with their children.
Individualized letters will be sent home from school the week of Jan. 9, 2023, indicating which vaccines each student is eligible to receive based on the immunization record Public Health has on file for them. If immunizations indicated in the letter have already been administered by a primary care provider, parents are asked to follow the instructions in the letter to provide this information to Public Health.
Parents are encouraged to submit their child’s most recent immunization record to Public Health to ensure the most up-to-date information is on file. For details on how to submit records, visit www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/your-health/immunization.
Elementary school vaccine clinics will resume in April 2023 and run until early June. Eligible Grade 7-8 students will be able to receive the Meningococcal vaccine, and first or second doses of Hepatitis B and HPV-9 vaccines.
Research is very clear about the safety profile of routine, publicly funded vaccines and their effectiveness at preventing serious diseases and/or their complications.
No COVID-19 vaccinations will be given at the in-school vaccine clinics.