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Durham Healthy Families

Immunization Notices - Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I report vaccine updates?

Provide vaccine updates using one of the following ways:

Always include your child’s legal name, date of birth, school/daycare.

2. Why have I received a notice from Durham Region Health Department?

3. I’ve received an "Immunization Program - Questionnaire" notice. Is this a suspension notice?

4. What if my doctor’s appointment is after the return date on the notice? Will my child be suspended?

5. Why is my child’s immunization record considered to be overdue or incomplete?

There may be many different reasons why a child’s immunization record is considered overdue or incomplete:

  1. Your child's complete immunization record was not provided to Durham Region Health Department.

    If you have recently moved to Durham Region, immunization records may not have been submitted at the time of school registration. If a photocopy was submitted, it may have been incomplete or too difficult to read. Please ensure that all vaccine dates and names are easy to read on any submitted photocopies.

    If your child received immunizations after registering for school, Durham Region Health Department may not have received these updates. You are required to provide the child’s immunization updates to Durham Region Health Department each time the child is vaccinated. Doctors do not report this information to Durham Region Health Department.

    It is important to inform Durham Region Health Department every time your child receives a vaccination.

  1. Your child’s immunization record is missing infant immunizations and/or booster doses.

Your child’s record with Durham Region Health Department may not show the immunizations he or/she received as an infant, or booster doses received as a toddler. As a child gets older, booster doses of the same vaccine are required for the child to be fully immunized. To meet the vaccination requirements, all of the required vaccine doses/boosters must be received at the correct age.

The most common missing booster doses are the ones given between 4 to 6 years of age, and 14 to 16 years of age.

Please ensure these boosters have been given to your child and send us the date and names of vaccines received so we can update our records.

  1. The Ontario immunization requirements are not met.

    Your child’s immunization record may not meet the minimum vaccinations outlined in Ontario's Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule as required under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA). Your child may have received immunizations too early or may not have received enough doses of a specific vaccine. Vaccinations must be given according to the recommended immunization schedule for a child to develop complete immunity.

    For example, your child may have less than the required number of doses of polio vaccine or the last dose may have been given before your child was four years of age.

  2. The exemption process has not been completed.

    You may have requested an exemption, but have not yet forwarded the original and completed exemption form to Durham Region Health Department. If an incomplete or incorrect form has been submitted it will not be processed.

  1. A child was immunized outside of Ontario or Canada, or an immunization record is unavailable.

    Children with immunization records from another province, country or children who do not have an immunization record may require ‘catch-up’ immunizations. Please contact your doctor to review your child’s immunization history and to determine if vaccinations are required. Please inform us when your child has received the required immunizations so we may update your child’s immunization record.

6. My child’s immunization record is up-to-date. Why don’t you have it?

Your child may have received all the required immunizations, but Durham Region Health Department may not have all the up-to-date information. After your child has registered for school, you are required to provide the child’s immunization updates to Durham Region Health Department each time your child is vaccinated. Doctors do not report this information to Durham Region Health Department.

7. Why did I get a notice if I already provided up-to-date immunization records to Durham Region Health Department?

If you have provided your child’s immunization record but have received a notice from Durham Region Health Department, we may need additional information. Please follow the instructions on the notice.

If you have very recently provided an update but have received a notice from Durham Region Health Department, your update may not have been in time to prevent the notice. Please resubmit your update by following the instructions on the notice.

8. What happens if I do not have a family doctor and require my child to be immunized?

Your child may be immunized at a walk-in medical clinic. You may wish to contact the walk-in clinic to make sure they have the vaccine or to find out if an appointment is required.

If you need assistance to find a health care provider please contact us.

9. Can my child be immunized free of charge if they do not have an Ontario Health Card?

Durham Region Health Department provides immunizations at no cost for children who are attending school and who do not have a health card. Call us to book an appointment at our monthly catch up clinic.

10. If I do not want my child to be immunized, can they be exempted?

Your child may be exempt from immunization due to medical, religious, conscience or philosophical reasons. To exempt your child you need to:

Please contact us for the required form.

11. What will happen if there is an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease at my child’s school?

Durham Region Health Department staff will review the immunization records of children who may have been exposed to the infectious person at the school to determine who has not been vaccinated and is at risk of becoming ill. Children or students whose immunization for that infection is not up-to-date may be excluded from the school during the outbreak. For this reason, it is important that your child’s immunization record is up-to-date.


Adapted with permission from York Region Public Health