Kitchener-Waterloo

2,000 students in Waterloo Region risk suspension due to old vaccination records

More than 2,000 elementary students in Waterloo Region could be suspended from school before the end of the week, because they haven't updated their immunization records with the region's public health department.

Students who do not update their information by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday will be suspended

More than 2,000 elementary students could be suspended if they don't get their immunization records in by April 5.

More than 2,000 elementary students in Waterloo Region could be suspended from school before the end of the week, because they haven't updated their immunization records with the region's public health department. 

Public health says students who do not provide updated information by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday will be suspended from school Wednesday morning. 

"We don't want to suspend students," said David Aoki, manager of immunization records. "That's kind of our last resort."

But he said students were given plenty of time to submit the required updates, having been given two warning letters earlier this year.
David Aoki says students were given plenty of time to submit the required information. (Valentin Flauraud/Reuters)

Unusually high number

In 2014, just over 500 elementary students were suspended over out-of-date records. This year, more than 2,000 risk suspension. 

Aoki said the increase is due, in part, to the introduction of a new record system, which prevented public health from penalizing students in 2015.

"We just weren't able to run the amount of notifications that we usually do, because we were still working through the kinks of the system," he said.

Three new immunizations have also been added to the province's mandatory list, he said, which has had an impact on the number of students with old records.

Suspensions to be issued Wednesday

Students who are suspended on Wednesday will be allowed to return to school when their immunization records are updated.

"If they know they've had the shots and just need to update the records, they need to contact us," Aoki said. "We have our phone lines open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day."

Those who still require immunizations can visit one of public health's walk-in immunization clinics at either 99 Regina St. S. in Waterloo, or 150 Main St. in Cambridge.

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