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Immunization Exemption: Understand the Risks and Responsibilities

Children who have not received routine immunizations:

  • Are at risk for catching a vaccine-preventable disease (i.e. In childcare or school, extracurricular activities, travelling)
  • May infect others if they become sick
  • May have to be excluded from school or day care, travel and afterschool programs

Here are some things to consider:

  • When your child is sick and they visit a healthcare provider (HCP), inform them that your child has not received all of the routine vaccine(s). The HCP may need to take extra care to protect themselves and others
  • Keep a record of any vaccine(s) your child has received
  • Planning to travel? Check out the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Travel Health website to learn about disease risks and vaccine options for the place(s) you may be heading

It is everyone’s responsibility to be informed to protect the health of their children, family and community.

Check out credible resources, talk to your HCP and make an informed choice that is best for your child.

Exemption from immunization:

Legal exemptions may be granted for medical or conscience/religious reasons. Parents seeking immunization exemptions are required to submit a Ministry-specific form, depending if the child is attending a licensed Childcare or a School. The title in the form will tell you if it is for Childcare (Child Care and Early Years Act form) or School (Immunization of School Pupils Act form).

A Childcare Exemption is not valid for children attending School, and vice versa.


The Medical Exemption forms must be completed by a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner and include their signature and their license or registration number.

The Conscience or Religious forms or affidavits must be completed in front of a Commissioner of Oaths. The affidavit must contain the Commissioner’s signature and contact information.

The ministry-issued exemptions forms and affidavits can be obtained from Ontario’s Central Forms Repository: forms.ssb.gov.on.ca

As of September 1, 2017, all parents of school-aged children requesting an immunization exemption based on conscience or religious beliefs (non-medical exemption) are required to complete an in-person Immunization Education Module at the Health Department. Both a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit-ISPA and this Immunization Education Module must be completed and submitted to the Health Department for the Exemption to be considered valid. Parents and/or guardians should contact Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6242 or 1-800-841-2729 for more information on this process.

For any questions and for more information, please contact the Durham Health Connection Line 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.