News

Published April 5, 2024

Health unit resumes school immunization program for Grade 7 students

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU)

News release - Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU)

Beginning this week, the SMDHU, in partnership with local school boards, will resume school-based clinics to complete the series of routine immunizations for Grade 7 students.

School immunization nurses will visit elementary schools throughout Simcoe and Muskoka from April to June to provide immunization for Grade 7 students. Information will be sent home with students through the school in advance of school-based clinics.

The vaccines offered during the school-based clinics significantly reduce the risk of hepatitis B, meningococcal meningitis, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Vaccination remains one of the best tools we have available to protect youth against harmful diseases before they may encounter them. The HPV vaccine is important because it significantly reduces the risk of various types of cancers such as throat and cervical cancer and prevents genital warts.

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The health unit advises getting immunized according to the publicly funded immunization schedule for Ontario and reminds parents and caregivers that meningococcal disease is one of the designated diseases under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA). Under ISPA, children and youth attending elementary or secondary school must be immunized against certain diseases, unless they have a valid exemption. Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines are not required under ISPA but are strongly recommended.

Having up-to-date immunizations helps to ensure that students have the best protection against serious vaccine-preventable diseases, reduces the risk of outbreaks in schools and allows the health unit to act quickly to prevent and control outbreaks.

To see the date that the health unit will be visiting your child’s school or for more information about the vaccines given in Grade 7 and the diseases they prevent, visit smdhu.org/Grade7. You can also speak with a public health professional by calling Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Banner image - file photo - Barrie 360

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