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Students urged to update immunization records to avoid school suspension

Grade school-aged students receive annual immunizations. (CTV NEWS) Grade school-aged students receive annual immunizations. (CTV NEWS)

Secondary students in Simcoe County and Muskoka are urged to update their immunization records with the health unit or face possible suspension from school.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) issued a reminder on Monday, advising students to provide up-to-date vaccine records or submit a medical exemption form or affidavit before Sept. 26.

The health unit acknowledged many students couldn't get routine immunizations during the pandemic, resulting in them being behind with their vaccination schedules but said now is the time to get back on track.

"We recognize that suspension would be very disruptive to young people and their families, and that is why we are advising students and their parents/guardians take immediate action and update their vaccination status to the health unit before the Sept. 26 deadline," stated Dr. Colin Lee, associate medical officer of health at SMDHU.

Updated vaccination records can be submitted online or by calling the health unit's Health Connection line at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

"Having up-to-date immunizations helps to ensure that students have the best protection against serious vaccine-preventable diseases and reduces the risk of outbreaks in schools," Dr. Lee added.

Additionally, the health unit noted that children and youth enrolled in school must have proof of immunization against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (for those born in 2010 and after) and meningococcal disease unless there is a valid exemption.

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