Almost 700 students suspended in Windsor-Essex because of immunization records

Almost 700 Grade 11 and 12 students have been suspended in Windsor-Essex because of incomplete immunization records.

689 Grade 11 and 12 students suspended

Forty-five percent of immunization records surveyed at licensed daycares by Ottawa Public Health in the summer of 2017 were incomplete. (CBC)

Almost 700 Grade 11 and 12 students in Windsor-Essex have been suspended because of incomplete immunization records.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced 689 students were suspended Tuesday morning.

Suspensions are a "last resort," according to Stacy Manzerolle, manager of the unit's Healthy Schools program.

"Although the suspensions can last up to 20 days, we are hoping students will update their records in a timely manner," she added.

The suspensions come after weeks of warnings from the health unit. Final notices were issued on Feb. 1, urging students to get their records up to date before the Tuesday deadline.

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has suspended 169 students so far, according to spokesperson Stephen Fields, who said he was still waiting to hear from one of the board's eight high schools.

"We expect that final number should be around 200," he explained. "Our total Grade 11 and 12 student population is 3,549 students, so that's about 5 per cent of this group that will be suspended."

The health unit said students can update their records by having a health care provider call or fax the unit or by bringing proof of immunization to their Windsor, Essex or Leamington locations.

Long list of required vaccinations

Health units across the province are required to maintain immunization records for students and can ask boards to issue suspensions to parents in order to ensure parents keep their vaccines up to date.

In order to attend school, students have to show proof of immunization against meningococcal disease, whooping cough, chickenpox, tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps and rubella.