Public Health Issues Secondary School Suspension Orders

Posted on Monday April 08, 2024

Waterloo Region – Region of Waterloo Public Health has issued 6,819 suspension orders for secondary students whose vaccine records are not up to date.

If Public Health has still not received up-to-date vaccination records or valid exemptions before Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 4:30 p.m., students will be suspended from school starting Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

“While we continue to work with families to resolve the remaining elementary school suspensions, we urge secondary school student families who have received a suspension notice to act quickly to ensure vaccination records are updated before May 1,” said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Medical Officer of Health. “Students who are not vaccinated are at an increased risk of severe infections and spreading them to others.”

The majority of secondary school students not up-to-date on their vaccinations are missing one or both of:

  • the Meningococcal ACYW-135 vaccine and/or
  • their teen booster of Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)
    • The Tdap booster is required 10 years after the previous dose (usually given between four and six years of age)


To keep your secondary school-aged child in school:

  • Book an appointment or submit updated records online at
  • Submit a valid medical or philosophical (statement of conscience exemption) online or in-person


To resolve your elementary school-aged child’s suspension:

As of April 8, 2024, 410 elementary students remain suspended. The fastest way for parents to resolve their elementary school-aged child is through an appointment with Public Health. Public Health staff are working directly with schools and parents to resolve those students who are outstanding as quickly as possible.

If you need support with any of these options, call 519-575-4400 to speak with a Public Health staff member.    


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 January, Region of Waterloo Public Health sent 10,425 suspension notices under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) to secondary school students whose vaccination records were not up to date with Public Health. 

The last time ISPA was enforced in Waterloo Region was in 2019 with approximately 1,549 elementary and secondary 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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