Informed Consent


What Does It Mean For School Based Programs


The purpose of this letter is to explain how consent is obtained for immunization for school students.

In Ontario, the Health Care Consent Act requires that appropriate consent be obtained before a medical treatment, such as an immunization, is provided.  A person does not have to be a certain age in order to be considered capable of providing his or her own consent.  In fact, the law states that a person is capable of consenting to medical treatment if he/she is able to understand the information regarding the medical treatment, including the benefits, risks and side effects, and the consequences of consenting or not consenting to the treatment.  The responsibility for determining if a person is capable of consenting to a medical treatment rests with the health professional providing the treatment.

At the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit,

  • If possible, we prefer to have both the consent of a capable student and his/her parent or legal guardian before vaccinating the student.  We ask that the student and their parents/guardians review all the information the student brings home regarding immunizations.  Students capable of consenting must sign the consent form if they wish to receive the vaccine.  Parents/legal guardians who want the student to be immunized are also asked to sign the consent form.
  • If a student arrives at school at an immunization clinic without the signature of a parent/legal guardian on his/her consent form, the Public Health Nurse may decide either to:
    • Proceed with the immunization.  This option can only be considered if the nurse determines that the student is capable of consenting on his/her own; OR
    • Offer the student another time and/or location to receive the vaccine.  The Public Health Nurse will encourage the student to review the immunization information with his/her parent/legal guardian and obtain the parent's/legal guardian's signature on the consent form.

On occasion, a student's wishes in relation to immunization may be different that those of his/her parent/guardian.  This could mean that the student does not want the vaccine that the parent/guardian wants him/her to receive, or the student wants the vaccine that the parent/guardian does not want him/her to receive. 

In this situation, the Public Health Nurse will ensure that the student is capable of consenting (or not consenting) on his/her own. If it is determined that the student is capable, the Public Health Nurse will follow the wishes of the student.  It should also be noted that the student has the right to refuse consent and if the parent has consented to the immunization and the student refuses to receive the immunization, the Health Unit will respect the wishes of the child and not provide the immunization. For information contact the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Program, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at:

Vaccine Preventable Diseases Program/Programme des maladies pouvant être prévenues par la vaccination
345 Oak Street West
North Bay, ON
P1B 2T2
Tel: 705-474-1400 ext. 5252
Fax/Téléc: (705) 474-9399

70 Joseph Street
Parry Sound, ON
P2A 2G5
Tel:705-746-5801 ext. 3215
Fax/Téléc: 705-746-2711

North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)