Toronto – Starting this week, Toronto Public Health (TPH) will offer additional opportunities for students to initiate or catch up on their school immunization program vaccines at local school clinics. The Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Meningococcal vaccines will be available to students in grade 7 to 12 who have missed starting or completing their school vaccine series due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupil Act (ISPA), all students are required to be up-to-date with Meningococcal vaccines, or have a valid exemption. Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines prevent cancers and are voluntary for school attendance in Ontario.
Four schools hosted vaccine clinics for school immunization program vaccines, in addition to paediatric, first, second and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this past week. Starting this week, the initiative will be expanded to host at least ten clinics per week at schools across the city. TPH is working closely with school boards to contact students, their families and the school community to provide information about these upcoming clinics. Eligible students and their families can expect a package from their child’s school with more information about the vaccines and a consent form.
School immunization program vaccines are also available at City of Toronto immunization clinics by appointment made online via the TPH Appointment Booking System . These vaccines can also be administered by a student’s primary care physician. Physicians can order these vaccines directly from the Ontario Government Pharmacy to provide to their patients who are eligible. Students visiting their health care providers for scheduled or urgent visits should not delay vaccinations at this time.
Immunizations has saved more lives than any other public health intervention in the 20th century. They have eradicated smallpox and controlled other diseases that once killed or disabled children in large numbers. Vaccines are safe, effective and one of the most important ways to improve health worldwide and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Vaccinating children helps protect them against infectious diseases and some cancers, and can prevent children from passing on an infection to other vulnerable people in the family or community.
“Vaccinations save lives and give us the best protection possible – they help keep us healthy. Thank you to Toronto Public Health for working to help deliver the vaccines we know young people need to stay safe.” – Mayor John Tory
“Vaccines are an important public health tool to prevent the spread of infection diseases. Throughout our COVID-19 vaccination campaign, our Team Toronto partners have done their very best to bring vaccine to all parts of our city and now we are pleased to bring these mobile vaccine opportunities to our school-based immunization programs. I encourage all eligible students and their families to book their appointments to ensure they are up-to-date with these routine vaccinations.”– Dr Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health