Immunization & Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Immunization Program Changes
NEW! Beginning of 2016-2017 school year, Ontario will offer the HPV vaccine free of charge to all boys and girls in Grade 7 and to Grade 8 girls through school-based clinics. For detailed information, check our HPV Clinics page.
NEW! Meningococcal vaccine (Menactra) will be delivered to Grade 7 students through community clinics offered for the 2016-2017 school year. There will be 19 community clinics available throughout Waterloo Region. Clinics are drop-in and will run from 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm. For detailed information, check our Meningitis Clinics page.
Immunization leads to improved individual and population health. It also helps save lives and prevent serious illnesses.
Here you will find information about routine immunization, school immunization, the immunization of school pupils act, online immunization reporting, vaccine safety, vaccine exemption, vaccine schedule, adult immunization and links to immunization forms and immunization resources.
Immunizations help the body make its own protection (or antibodies) against certain diseases. They are given to people to prevent against a variety of diseases including; diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio, haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), varicella (chickenpox), meningitis, pneumonia, and influenza.
Routine immunizations are provided by Public Health to residents of Waterloo Region who do not have a health care provider. Please review the information about clinic hours and locations on the Immunization Clinic page.
Public Health will mail letters to students with incomplete records only. If you receive a letter, please forward a copy of the complete immunization record to Public Health. If your child requires immunization, please contact your Doctor. If you do not have a Doctor you can contact Public Health at 519-575-4400 ext.13007 to make an appointment.
Student Immunization Postcard
Hepatitis B and HPV Vaccine
Hepatitis B and HPV Vaccine Schedule - for a list of schools and dates, check this schedule
Hepatitis B and HPV are offered to all Grade 7 students, and HPV to girls in Grade 8. For consent forms for these types of immunization, click on the appropriate links above.
Meningitis Vaccine Schedule - for a list of locations and dates, check this schedule
The Immunization of School Pupils Act
The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires that Public Health maintain the immunization records of all students in all grades at private, public and catholic schools in Waterloo Region.
|The Enforcement of the Act ensures that immunization coverage rates of students are improved and students get the maximum amount of protection against vaccine preventable diseases.
If you received an immunization notice for your child it is because we do not have complete information on file for one of the following reasons:
- You have not reported your child's complete immunizations to Region of Waterloo Public Health.
- Your child is overdue for one or more immunizations.
- You have chosen not to have your child immunized (for medical, religious or conscience reasons) but have not provided us with a completed legal exemption form.
Your School's Role
Your child's school only collects and forwards immunization records to Region of Waterloo Public Health at the time of initial registration to school in Junior Kindergarten (JK). As of September 2015, no other immunization information (aside from the JK registration process) should be provided to your school.
|After registration, you are required to update your child's immunization record with Region of Waterloo Public Health each time your child is immunized.
How to avoid school suspension:
- Report each new immunization to Public Health; your doctor's office or school does not report these records for you.
If you've received a notice:
- Contact Public Health to update your child's record (see contact information below)
- Book an appointment and take your notice with you to your child's appointment to ensure the correct immunizations are given. Please notify Public Health using one of the methods below once the immunizations have been given.
- If you do not have a family doctor (or do not have a health card), you can call the health unit at 519-575-4400 ext.13007 to book an appointment for your child to receive the vaccine(s).
How to provide your records:
If you are submitting information to avoid a secondary school suspension please call 519-575-4400 ext. 13009, or fax the information to 519-885-7260. Alternatively, you can bring the information to Public Health's office at 99 Regina St. S. in Waterloo or 150 Main St. in Cambridge.
You may decide because of medical, religious or philosophical reasons not to immunize your child. In this case, you will need to provide a valid written exemption to us (your local public health unit). If the disease appears in your child's school or childcare centre, your child may have to stay out of school/childcare until the disease is no longer present.
A notarized statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit must be forwarded to us.
If you require a medical exemption, please contact us at 519-575-4400 to obtain the forms. After completion, these forms must be sent back to us.
As per the Child Care and Early Years Act, children attending licensed childcare centres should be immunized according to their age and as recommended in the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario or as directed by the Medical Officer of Health. The immunization exemption forms for students enrolled in child care centres are available here:
We are responsible for collecting and maintaining updated immunization information for students aged four - 18 years attending school and for children in licensed child care centres in Waterloo Region.
Note: Primary care providers (doctors) will provide parents with a record of immunization, but will not report this information to us. Parents are responsible for notifying us each time their child receives an immunization.
Please have an updated copy of your child's "yellow card" or printout of their immunization record ready prior to completing the online form.
To report immunizations online, go to:
To reach a nurse, call 519-575-4400
Personal Health Information: By completing this online reporting form, you are consenting to the collection and use of your personal health information by Region of Waterloo Public Health to maintain the provincial immunization database. For further information about this, please contact us at 519-575-4400.
Vaccines used in Canada are very safe. They are developed in accordance with the highest standards and are continually monitored for safety and effectiveness.
If you have any questions, call your doctor, nurse practitioner or visit Public Health Agency of Canada at http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/ or www.immunize.cpha.ca
Minor side effects from vaccines such as mild and localized redness and swelling or tenderness of the spot where the vaccine was administered and mild fever are common but go away quickly.
Vaccines trigger the child's immune system to make antibodies to fight disease, and for it to work best children must have all their immunization on time.
Please check the Immunization Schedule of the recommended routine immunization for children in Ontario.
If you have a question about your child's immunization, contact a nurse in the Vaccine Preventable Disease Program at 519-575-4400 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Also, check with your doctor or nurse practitioner to see if your older children may be eligible for any of the new vaccines now available for children in Ontario.
Every child needs an immunization record. Keep a written record of all your child's immunizations on the "yellow card".
To request immunization records, call 519-575-4400.
You are never too old for immunization.
Recommended immunization for adults (25, 35, 45+ years) are:
- Tetanus/Diphtheria (every ten years)
For adults who have completed a polio series in the past, routine polio boosters are not needed with some exceptions.
Other vaccines are also recommended based on age, medical conditions, employment and increased risk of infection. These may include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Also, all adults 19 - 64 of age who have never received the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) vaccine in adolescence are now eligible to receive one lifetime (publicly funded) dose of the vaccine. This lifetime dose replaces one of the Td (Tetanus and Diphtheria) booster doses given every ten years.
Special vaccines may be needed when travelling outside North America. For a list of travel immunization clinics in the area click here.
Immunization Forms for Child Care Centres
Instructions for Collection, Maintenance and Completion of Child Care Forms for child care centre operators and providers
Parent Information Letter for children attending a child care centre in Waterloo Region
Immunization Information Form for new registrants attending a child care centre in Waterloo Region
Immunization Update Form for children attending a child care centre in Waterloo Region
Child Care Centre Enrolment List - Paper Form
Child Care Centre Electronic Enrolment Form
The following form is for child care providers (employees, providers, volunteers in child care centres) and is to be kept on site. If you have any questions about this form please call Public Health at 519-575-4400.
Pre-Employment Health Form for Employees, Providers, and Volunteers in Child Care Centres
Fact Sheets / Brochure
Impact of Vaccines in Canada Poster
Cocooning Babies and Pertussis Vaccine
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis and Polio
Diphtheria, Tetanus and Acellular Pertussis
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae Type B
FluMist (fact sheet in development)
Inactivated Polio Vaccine
Invasive Pneumococcal Disease
Haemophilus Influenza Type B
Measles Mumps Rubella
Measles Mumps Rubella & Varicella
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis, Polio
Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio
Tetanus / Diphtheria
Immunization Education Campaign - Public Health Agency of Canada website