Reminder: One week remaining before elementary school suspensions

Posted on Wednesday March 20, 2024

Waterloo Region – One week remains before school suspensions take effect for those who have not provided Public Health with updated vaccination records.

If Public Health has still not received up-to-date vaccination records or valid exemptions before Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 4:30 p.m., students will be suspended from school starting Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

“Our primary goal is to keep children healthy and in school,” said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Medical Officer of Health. “If you have not updated your child’s record by suspension day, you will need to attend an in-person appointment at one of our Public Health clinics to resolve your child’s vaccination record. Given the high number of suspensions anticipated, it may take several days before you can be seen at an appointment and return your child to school. When capacity permits, we will look to re-open our online submission portal for vaccination records.”

“With measles cases occurring around the province and globally, the Immunization for School Pupils Act is even more important now to ensure students are up-to-date with vaccines,” added Dr. Wang. “When cases occur in Waterloo Region, being up-to-date on vaccines is your child’s best protection.”

In mid-February, Region of Waterloo Public Health issued 18,643 suspension orders under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) to elementary school students whose vaccination records were not up to date with Public Health. 

As of March 19, 2024, more than 12,000 of those records have been resolved leaving 6,202 vaccination records that remain out of date.

To keep your child in school:

  • Report vaccines that your child has received at
  • If your child needs a vaccine, book an appointment with your primary healthcare provider and upload your record after vaccination.
    • If you are unable to get an appointment with your healthcare provider before March 27, 2024, notify Public Health of your appointment through our web form available at A temporary exemption will be placed on your child’s record to prevent suspension.
    • If you do not have an OHIP card or health care provider, please call Public Health at 519-575-4400.

No further action is required if:

  • Your child received a vaccination(s) at a Public Health Clinic on or after March 19, 2024.
  • You receive confirmation from Public Health before March 27, 2024 that your child will not be suspended.

If your child is suspended starting Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 (suspension day):

  • You must book an in-person appointment at These appointments will be available after 4:30 p.m. on March 26, 2024. Clinics will be held at 99 Regina St. South, Waterloo and 30 Christopher Dr., Cambridge. 
  • If you have any questions, you may call 519-575-4400 to help you book an appointment or explain your options.
    • Note: Call volume is expected to be high and your call may be handled by an automated response service. 
    • Record submission and questions must be done in person, to resolve issues and return your child to school as quickly as possible.
    • When capacity permits, we will look to re-open our online submission portal for vaccination records.


During the pandemic, Public Health saw a decline in vaccine coverage rates in school-aged children. Routine vaccinations provide protection against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Meningococcal, Pertussis (whooping cough), and Varicella (chickenpox). 

In November and December 2023, Public Health sent 27,567 notices to parents with children who had outdated vaccination records. Since that time, Public Health has run catch-up clinics, conducted public outreach and launched a marketing campaign to encourage families to update their vaccination records and get the routine vaccines needed to stay in school. 

The last time ISPA was enforced in Waterloo Region was in 2019 with approximately 1,032 students suspended at that time.

The Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) requires all elementary and secondary school students to have proof of these vaccinations or a valid exemption on file with Public Health. 


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