Health unit warns of suspensions for unvaccinated students
Published Friday, September 18, 2015 6:46PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 18, 2015 7:02PM EDT
If you don't have your child's immunizations up to date, he or she soon could be suspended from school.
The Windsor-Essex County health unit will be enforcing the healthy school program for all students next year.
Acting medical officer of health , Dr. Wajid Ahmed says parents will be required to provide an immunization record at the time of admission to school and failing to do so could result in a suspension.
"So that we can ensure that they are protected and that they are also protecting other children who may not be able to get vaccination for any other reason so that they are protecting the community and their family as a whole," says Ahmed.
In the past, the health unit says they lacked the resources needed to track down students who weren't vaccinated.
With a with a recent funding boost, the health unit is now able to work with the school board and health care providers to ensure students have a comprehensive and reliable immunization record.
“Based on that record we intend to use that as a tool to encourage parents in proof of vacciantion and failure to do so may lead to suspension of that child,”says Ahmed.
Windsor pediatrician, Dr. Mark Awuku agrees with the health unit's decision to encourage parents to immunize their children.
"It votes for the well-being for the society,” says Awuku. “For them to ask or encourage for all children to be immunized is a statement or a policy in the right direction.".
Ahmed says they will be looking at several options to educate the public.
"We will start sending out letters to parents to make them aware that they are missing one or two vaccinations and how they can complete their vaccination series," he says.
Ahmed says exemptions would be allowed on medical and religious grounds.
Officials from both the catholic and public school boards say they take their direction on issues like this from the health unit.