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Suspension orders sent to nearly 4,000 local students with out-of-date immunization records

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Suspension orders have been issued for nearly 4,000 local students with out-of-date immunization records, the health unit announced this week.

“On Friday, Feb. 2, Lambton Public Health (LPH) began issuing Suspension Orders to 3947 students with out-of-date immunization records as required by the Immunization of School Pupils Act, 1990 (ISPA),” a news release stated Tuesday. “Suspension orders will go into effect on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 for elementary (JK –Grade 8) school-aged students and Tuesday, March 26, 2024 for secondary (Grade 9 – 12) school-aged students."

To avoid suspension, parents or guardians must report immunizations or valid exemptions to LPH for the following diseases: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Meningococcal disease, and Varicella.

“Immunizations reported to public health in accordance with ISPA helps ensure adequate community immunity to prevent the transmission of, and protects the health of children against, vaccine preventable diseases,” said Medical Officer of Health  Dr. Karalyn Dueck.

“Staying up-to-date on immunization reporting enables swift public health management if there were ever an outbreak in our schools and helps protect our communities.”

Immunization records are not automatically reported by healthcare providers to public health, LPH added.

“This means that if a child has received all required immunizations, but they have not yet been reported by the parent or guardian, that child may still receive a Suspension Order.”

Options to view or report immunization records or learn how to complete the exemption process can be found on our website. 

Children who still require immunizations as outlined by ISPA should contact their healthcare provider to book an appointment or call 226-254-8222 to book with an LPH clinic.

For more information, call Lambton Public Health at 226-254-8222 or toll-free at 1-800-667-1839. 

“We are anticipating a high volume of calls over the next month,” LPH added, “and appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to service clients as quickly as possible.”