School Immunization

If your child is in Grade 7, 8, or 9 this school year (2021/2022), they are eligible to receive their routine school vaccines or complete the vaccine series if they have already started. Clinics are by appointment only. 

There are currently no available appointments however, additional appointments are expected to open in February 2021. Please check back then.

Parents/students are encouraged to take this opportunity to update their immunization records online or by calling 519-575-4400 ext. 5001 (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm).

Routine school vaccines are also available through local health care providers. Parents/students can access immunization records and submit immunization information online. Students without a health card or those needing assistance can call Public Health at 519-575-4400 ext.5001.

School Vaccine Program Update

Letter to Parents/Guardians October 2021 

Dear Parent/Legal Guardian,

Since the Spring of 2020, the school vaccination program has been suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public Health will be restarting the program on November 1, 2021. Appointments will open for booking on October 18, 2021. Most clinics will be outside of school and work hours at Public Health offices located at 99 Regina Street South, Waterloo and 99 Beechwood Road, Cambridge.

Planning is also underway to reach students who may not be able to access the two Public Health fixed clinic locations. Details about additional mobile clinics will be communicated as soon as they are finalized.

If your child is in Grade 7, 8 or 9 during the 2021/2022 school year, they are eligible to receive their school program vaccines or complete the series if they have already started them.

If you have previously declined these immunizations or
have a legal exemption on file at Public Health, please disregard this letter.

Typically, each school year, Grade 7 students have an opportunity to receive the following three vaccines in school-based clinics. Please note that meningococcal ACYW-135 vaccine is required for school attendance under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA). Although the Immunization of School Pupils Act has not been enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic, students' immunization records will be reviewed in the future for vaccines required by the Act.

  • Hepatitis B (2-dose series)
  • Meningococcal ACYW-135 (Menactra®)
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) (Gardasil®-9) (2-dose series)

Please note that Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines require two doses to fully protect against these diseases. Menactra® is provided as a one-time dose and a second dose is not required to complete vaccination. Some children may have already received a meningococcal vaccine prior to age 12 (usually at one year of age). The Grade 7 immunization with Menactra® is still recommended to provide protection against strains not included in the earlier vaccine.

Next steps:

If you wish to have your child complete these vaccinations, please do the following:

  • Ensure your child's vaccination records are up to date:
    Before booking an appointment, ensure that all vaccinations received from your health care provider or other vaccination clinics have been reported to Public Health
  • Book your child's vaccination appointment:

Please note: Appointments will be released in blocks every two weeks over the next year. Public Health greatly appreciates your patience as we work to get students across the Region caught up**

Vaccine Exemptions (for Meningococcal vaccine only)

  • You may decide for medical, religious or philosophical reasons not to immunize your child. In this case your will need to provide a written vaccine exemption for Meningococcal vaccine, one of the vaccines required for attendance at school
  • For medical exemptions, a legal Statement of Medical Exemption must be forwarded to Public Health. Please call 519-575-4400 ext. 5001 if you wish to submit a Statement of Medical Exemption
  • Public Health is not currently processing non-medical vaccine exemptions (statements of conscience). Additional information will be communicated to parents once the non-medical exemption process has been restarted

**Note: Public Health does not issue COVID-19 vaccine exemptions. Please contact your family physician, pharmacist, allergist or nurse practitioner if you require written documentation. 

If you have questions about the School Vaccine Program catch-up process, please call 519-575-4400 ext. 5001.

Kristy Wright, RN BScN
Manager, Vaccine Preventable Disease Program

Routine School Vaccine Clinics

There are currently no routine school vaccine appointment for students currently in grades 7-9 who are eligible to receive their school program vaccines (Hepatitis B, HPV, and/or Meningococcal) or have not yet completed their vaccine series. Additional appointments are expected to open in February 2022. Please check back then.

Routine school vaccines are also available through local health care providers. Parents/students can access immunization records and submit immunization information online. Students without a health card or those needing assistance can call Public Health at 519-575-4400 ext.5001.

If you have questions about the Routine School Vaccine Program catch-up process, please call 519-575-4400 ext. 5001.

Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)

Public Health will be postponing the enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils’ Act for this school year and will not implement suspension actions this spring, but letters will be sent out in the new year to notify parents of any immunizations their child may be missing.

Immunization protects children from many serious diseases that are easily spread in schools.

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act all primary and secondary students need to have proof of immunization against:

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Meningococcal Disease
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
    • Required for children born in 2010 or later

View the complete immunization schedule.


Report to Public Health

The Act requires that Public Health maintain the immunization records of all primary and secondary students in Waterloo Region. Without proof of immunizations or a valid exemption your child may be suspended from school until records are provided.

Parents are required to report these immunizations to Public Health to ensure school attendance for their child. Your school does not collect immunization information.

You can report immunization records to Public Health


Received a letter?

If you received an immunization notice for your child it is because Public Health does not have complete information on file. It could be because:

  • You have not reported your child's immunizations to Public Health
    • Contact Public Health to update your child's records
  • Your child is overdue for one or more immunizations
    • Book an appointment with your health care provider, bring the immunization notice to ensure the correct immunizations are given
    • If you do not have a health care provider or health card, call Public Health at 519-575-4400.
  • You have chosen not to have your child immunized for medical, religious or philosophical reasons but have not provided us with a legal exemption form

Please note: Public Health will be postponing the enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils’ Act for this school year and will not implement suspension actions this spring.


Vaccine Exemption

Public Health does not issue COVID-19 vaccine exemptions. At this time, the Ministry of Health has not provided guidance for vaccine exemptions for COVID vaccines, and there is no formal exemption process. Please contact your family physician or allergist if you require written documentation. 

Region of Waterloo Public Health is not providing education sessions/videos for COVID-19 vaccine exemptions. Please speak with your employer, local school board or organization about their vaccine policy requirements.

You may decide for medical, religious or philosophical reason not to immunize your child. You will need to provide a valid written exemption to Public Health.

If the diseases appears in your child's school you child may have to stay out of school/child care until the disease is no longer present.

For medical exemptions, a legal Statement of Medical Exemption (ISPA) must be forwarded to Public Health.

Public Health is not currently processing non-medical vaccine exemptions (statements of conscience). Additional information will be communicated to parents once the non-medical exemption process has been restarted.

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