Windsor Essex County Health Unit looking to fill in immunization record gaps
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is trying to close a gap in understanding how many students have up-to-date immunization records.
The health unit says it's missing up-to-date records for about 6,300 students aged seven and 17. That accounts for 74 per cent of students in those age groups.
- 70 Hamilton students suspended over immunization records
- 900 more Ottawa students suspended over immunization records
"The majority of that 74 per cent are probably immunized, we just don't have the information." said Judy Allen, the health unit's manager of its healthy schools program.
"Right now there is not a mechanism other than the parents giving us the information," she said. "Health care providers are not required to report that information. Our only mechanism is through the parents."
Allen said the health ministry is looking into ways that physicians could communicate immunization records directly with local health units, but that process is still in the early stages.
Public health units in other Ontario cities including Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa have suspended students over incomplete records.
Allen said Windsor is not at that stage — yet.
Beginning this week the health unit will be sending notices to families asking to complete the records. Allen said notices will be sent out in June and later in the summer, before suspensions begin in the fall.