Infectious diseases & vaccines Immunization

Child Immunization

In Ontario, children are eligible for free vaccinations for several communicable diseases.These vaccines help protect your child against serious and potentially life-threatening illness including:

•Meningococcal (Meningitis)
•Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
•Varicella (Chickenpox)

All children attending school between the ages of 4-17 must be immunized according to Ontario’s Immunization Schedule.

See the School Immunization Checklist 

Children who are not fully immunized may not be allowed to attend school unless an exemption form is provided.Ensuring all children are vaccinated creates a "herd immunity" effect, which helps to prevent these diseases from starting and spreading in a classroom, at home, or in the greater community.

Click here for more information on Grade 7 vaccinations.

Reporting your Child's immunization to Public Health

Parents are required to provide proof of their child’s immunizations to Oxford County Public Health, to be able to attend school. This is enforced under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA).

Parents need to provide a copy of their child’s immunization record to Public Health when registering their child for school and each time their child receives an immunization.

Immunization Connect allows parents to quickly and conveniently enter their child’s immunization record online.

You can also provide a copy of your child’s immunization record the following ways:

In person - Oxford County Public Health at 410 Buller St. in Woodstock.

By fax – 519-539-6206

Mail – 410 Buller St., Woodstock, ON  N4S 4N2

For more information, contact Oxford County Public Health to speak with a Public Health Nurse at 519-421-9901 or 1-800-922-0096.

Keeping your records up-to-date

Your child’s immunization record is needed when they begin daycare or school. It may also be required for going to summer camp; changing schools; starting college, university or a new job; going for emergency health care; and travel out of the country.

An up-to-date immunization record is required by law for school attendance in Ontario. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to update a child’s immunization record with Oxford County Public Health.

Always keep your immunization record in a safe place with your other important documents.If you do not have an immunization record, ask your health care professional for a copy, or retrieve the record online from Immunization Connect.

Immunization exemptions

While immunizations are required by law for children 4-17 years to attend school in Ontario, there are exemptions that can be granted under certain circumstances.

Some children are not immunized due to a serious illness or allergy. This requires a Statement of Medical Exemption to be completed by a Doctor.

Some families choose not to immunize children due to philosophical or religious beliefs. In this case, an Affidavit needs to be completed, and parents/guardians are required to complete an immunization education session. Contact Oxford County Public Health for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many vaccine-preventable diseases are now rare in Canada because routine vaccines are very effective. These diseases do exist and are much more common in other countries where vaccines are not offered. If too many people choose not to vaccinate, serious epidemics could return to Canada.

Many young parents today have not witnessed these deadly diseases and are not aware of the serious illnesses and possible fatal outcomes that could occur. Vaccination of all eligible people is important to help create "herd immunity" for people who are not able to be vaccinated due to serious allergies or medical conditions. Being vaccinated will also allow for healthy and safe travel to parts of the world where these diseases are more common.

Vaccines help the body’s immune system make its own protection (or antibodies) against certain types of infection (bacteria/virus) and create a memory against future exposure. This is a controlled way of exposing the body to a disease without the risk of becoming seriously ill or experiencing complications from the disease. If a vaccinated person is exposed to a bacteria or virus that he/she was vaccinated for, the person’s antibodies will destroy the bacteria or virus before it is able to make the person sick. Occasionally, a vaccinated person does become ill but the symptoms and duration of disease are usually less severe.

Immunization is very safe and effective. Vaccines are researched extensively and serious side effects are very rare. The most common side effects are mild pain, redness and swelling at the injection site; these are temporary and go away quickly. Some infants may become fussy for 1 to 2 days after the needle and may have a low-grade fever (38C). Acetaminophen may be recommended by your health care provider to prevent these side effects. Your health care provider will discuss any allergies or other health concerns you may have before immunizing.

Oxford County Public Health (and other Health Units across Ontario) have been given the responsibility through the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care of tracking and recording the immunization records of all children in the public school system. This system helps to ensure the “herd immunity” effect within the public school system to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases amongst the student population.

Online - Immunization Connect is the easiest way to report your child’s immunization record to Oxford County Public Health. Click on “Submit Immunization Record” and read the Terms of Use Agreement before and check the acknowledgement box before proceeding.

Enter the required information in the fields provided.

You can also provide a copy of your child’s immunization record the following ways:
In person - Oxford County Public Health at 410 Buller St. in Woodstock.
By fax – 519-539-6206
Mail – 410 Buller St., Woodstock, ON N4S 4N2