The Law, Exemptions, Suspensions and Exclusions

Contact(s)

Understanding the Law in Ontario

  • The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires that all children under the age of 18 registered in school in Ontario must be immunized, or in the process of becoming immunized.
  • Under the Act, parents are directly responsible for the immunization status of their children.
  • This law applies to all students who attend private or public elementary and secondary schools.
  • Children enrolled in day nurseries must also be immunized, unless legally exempted (Day Nurseries Act, 1998).

Vaccine Education Video

Exemptions

There has been recent changes to the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) to strengthen the vaccine exemption process in Ontario. These changes will support parents in making an informed decision if they choose to not vaccinate their children for non-medical reasons.

Effective September 1, 2017, the education requirements for non-medical exemptions that were passed as part of Bill 87 will come into effect.

Parents who intend to submit a non-medical exemption with respect to the immunization requirements under the ISPA will need to complete an immunization education session delivered by their local public health unit. Parents will need to submit a revised Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief form and a certificate of completion providing proof that they have completed the education session to their local public health unit. In addition, there are new housekeeping amendments that update definitions in the legislation and ensure that the regulation meets language and accessibility requirements.

The amended legislation is available on the e-laws website at: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90i01

If your child requires an exemption from vaccination for medical, religious, or conscientious reasons, you must complete and submit one of the following forms, which are available online at www.forms.ssb.gov.on.ca (Government of Ontario):

  • Statement of Medical Exemption
  • Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief

 The original affidavit must be dropped off to the Health Unit. Forms are also available by presenting to the Health Unit Vaccine Preventable Disease Program.

Please contact the Health Unit for dates and times of education sessions.

Suspension from School

  • Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, the Medical Officer of Health will issue suspension orders to any student who:
    • has failed to become immunized and is not exempt;
    • does not have up to date immunizations

Learn more about the suspension process

Exclusion from School

  • If there is an outbreak/ threatened outbreak of any vaccine preventable disease affected by legislation, the medical officer of health excludes from school any student who is not immune, regardless of legal exemption.  This means that a non-immune student would not be able to attend school until the outbreak has been declared over.

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808