Region of Waterloo Public Health issues suspension orders under the Immunization of School Pupils Act

Posted on Monday February 12, 2024

Waterloo Region – Region of Waterloo Public Health has issued 18,643 suspension orders to elementary school students whose vaccination records are not up-to-date with Public Health. Families now have the remaining six weeks to update vaccination records, obtain vaccines needed or apply for an exemption before the suspension orders take effect on March 27, 2024. 

The suspension orders were generated on February 1, 2024, and are based on the vaccine records reported to Public Health by that time.

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).

“Vaccination protects kids and keeps schools healthy by stopping the spread of serious and preventable disease,” said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Medical Officer of Health, Region of Waterloo Public Health. “Children who are not vaccinated are at increased risk of getting infections and spreading diseases to others. The enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils Act is critical for ensuring the health and wellbeing of our community.”

In November and December 2023, Public Health sent 27,567 notices to parents with children who had outdated vaccination records.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 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.

If you have received a suspension notice:

No further action is required if:

  • Your child received vaccination(s) at a Public Health Clinic on or after February 1, 2024
  • You received confirmation from Public Health that your child’s immunization record is up-to-date

If you have reported an immunization record since February 1, 2024, you can view your child’s immunization record to see if they are up-to-date using this link Please note: it may take five to seven business days to process online submissions.

The elementary school suspension date is March 27, 2024. Secondary school suspension date is May 1, 2024. 

Questions? Need help?

  • Visit the Region of Waterloo Public Health to learn more about school and childcare vaccinations
  • Call Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400, (TTY) call 519-575-4608. Interpreters are available in over 150 languages



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