Immunization in Schools

Grade 7 immunizations were held in locations across Huron and Perth between October 23 - December 8, 2021. If you are a current (2021-22) grade 7 student, or if you were a grade 7 student in 2020-21 and you only received one dose of the Hepatitis B and HPV vaccine, you WILL NOT need to restart a series regardless of time lapsed. If you were unable to attend a Grade 7 community immunization clinic to receive your second dose, or if you did not receive any of your grade 7 vaccines last year, you may contact your healthcare provider.

To attend school in Ontario, children are required to be vaccinated against several infectious diseases. Failure to meet the vaccine requirements could result in a school suspension.

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) conducts immunization clinics within schools across Huron and Perth counties to help make it easier for students to stay up-to-date with their vaccinations.

2021 School-based immunization community clinics

School-based immunization clinics were available by appointment to students who are in currently in Grade 7 (born 2009), as well as Grade 7 students from the 2020-21 cohort who have not yet received vaccines typically offered at school in grade 7. Additionally, appointments are available for eligible students born in 2002 to 2007 to catch-up on vaccines they have missed.

The following vaccines will be offered at community clinics:

Clinics operated in municipalities in Huron and Perth counties late October through December. Parents/students are encouraged to book an appointment at their earliest convenience to avoid missing the opportunity for vaccination. A signed consent form [PDF] is required for students to receive these vaccines. If you are unable to attend one of these clinics, there will be other opportunities to receive these vaccines in the future, or you may arrange to obtain them through your health care provider.

COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time as, or any time before or after other vaccines, including live, non-live, adjuvanted, and non-adjuvanted vaccines. As a precaution, the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) previously recommended that COVID-19 vaccines be given at least 28 days before and 14 days after other vaccines. After reviewing the evolving evidence on COVID-19 vaccines and considering the extensive data and experience of giving other routine vaccines at the same time or within days of each other, NACI has determined that a precautionary approach is no longer necessary.

Elementary school clinics 

The following immunizations are offered free for all Ontario students in grades 7 through public health units.

Grade 7 immunizations protect against:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal disease (meningitis) *Note: The meningococcal vaccine is required for school attendance, according to the Immunization of School Pupils Act
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Learn more with the Grade 7 Immunizations Factsheet.

Hepatitis B

The Hepatitis B vaccine [PDF] is given twice: the first immunization is given in the fall, and the second in the spring.

HPV vaccine

The HPV vaccine [PDF] is given twice: the first dose in the fall, and the second dose in the spring.

If your child missed these vaccines when they were in grade 7 (or 8), call us to see if they qualify for the publicly funded vaccines.

Meningococcal (A, C, Y, W-135) vaccine

The Meningococcal vaccine [PDF] protects against the meningitis strains A, C, Y, and W-135 diseases and is required for school attendance by law. It is one vaccine given in the fall.

If you choose not to protect your child with this vaccine, you are required to attend a vaccine exemption counselling session, and have a properly commissioned affidavit on file.

Secondary school clinics

By Grade 10, most students need a booster shot against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. This shot is required every 10 years. Students must receive this immunization in order to attend school.

Your child will be given a letter and consent form at school to inform you about upcoming high school immunization clinics. You must return the consent form to your child's school or Huron Perth Public Health.

Your child can also have this booster shot through their family doctor's office. Be sure to report the immunization to HPPH.

Vaccine exemptions

Families who choose not to protect their child with the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis -vaccine are required to attend a vaccine exemption counselling session at the Health Unit, and have a properly commissioned affidavit on file.

Consent

Secondary school students are able to consent for themselves, but parents are encouraged to discuss this immunization with their child and take advantage of the opportunity to get this vaccine at their school. For information about consent, review the Health Care Consent Act.

Helping your child prepare for immunizations

Many people feel nervous before getting a needle. Here are some things you can do to help your child get ready for immunization day:

  • Tell your child when clinic day will be; the day before is a good time to remind your child they will be getting a needle.
  • Make sure your child eats something prior to their clinic appointment.
  • A short sleeve shirt should be worn so that the nurse can easily access the upper arm, where the vaccine is administered.

Talk with your child about techniques to reduce possible pain and anxiety. Here are a few ideas:

  • Relax as much as possible during the immunization.
  • Take slow, deep breaths.
  • Close eyes and count.
  • Wiggle toes during the immunization.
  • Distract yourself with your phone or looking at a picture.

Frequently asked questions

When will my child receive these vaccines?

In 2021, Grade 7 immunizations were paused due to COVID vaccine roll out. Please know that your child WON’T need to re-start a series regardless of time lapsed.

Typically, HPPH will go out to schools several times during the school year. In 2020, due to the pandemic, we held community clinics in Huron and Perth to reach the eligible students and provide vaccinations. 

Can I take my child to our usual healthcare provider to get these vaccines?
Most healthcare providers do not carry these vaccines. It is recommended your child receives them at the community clinics.
What if my child is afraid of needles?
The nurses who will be giving the vaccines at the community clinics will work with your child to make this experience as positive as possible. Most students do well with the immunizations even if they were worried before. Having a conversation with your child will help them feel more prepared. If your child is extremely anxious, you may call the health unit to discuss an alternative arrangement for vaccine administration.
What if my child has already received some of these vaccines?
If you know that your child has already received these vaccines, you will need to inform HPPH and provide the date(s) your child received the vaccine(s). If you are not sure if your child has received any of these vaccines, call the health unit at 1-888-221-2133. We will help you determine if your child needs to be immunized.
Do I get a record of these immunizations?
Yes. After every vaccination your child will receive a record of what vaccine they received that day. Keep the record with your child's other health records.
Are these vaccines safe?
Vaccines undergo a complete review of their safety, quality and effectiveness before they are approved and can be used in Canada. After approval, vaccines are continually monitored through a "vaccine safety surveillance" to ensure their safety.