Many students comply with immunization record request

By James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The public health campaign toward updated student vaccination records garnered much compliance.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit reminded parents and guardians of students that health records needed proof of current vaccinations to ensure uninterrupted class attendance.

Dr. Natalie Bocking, the medical officer of health and the unit’s CEO, told the board of health when it met Feb. 15 that a comparative handful of students remain without updated records after the first round of notices.

In January, there was indication that 1,357 Grade 3 and high school students in the region who were not up to date with their immunization records. Students that aren’t sufficiently vaccinated are suspended from attending classes.

The first day of suspensions was Feb. 5 when there were just 442 students who didn’t have updated immunization records.

That number shrunk further so that there are only 36 students without current vaccination records as of Feb. 15.

“This has been a tremendous amount of work among HKPR employees, among school boards, principals, and parents,” Bocking said.

The next round of enforcement will include elementary school students, except Grade 3, in March with a suspension date in May.

“In these grades there tends to be fewer that are not up to date,” Bocking said.

There is a booster vaccine required in Grade 3 before the student is seven years old.

Bocking said about 3,400 notices will be sent out in March. It’s anticipated that numbers of non-compliance will be lower than the first round.