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Suspensions loom for thousands of local kids behind on vaccines

Algoma Public Health in the process of sending out yet another notice to the parents/guardians of 4,000 affected students, who could face 20-day school suspensions
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Algoma Public Health. Darren Taylor/SooToday

Algoma Public Health issued a stern reminder this afternoon that area students could face suspension if their childhood vaccines are not up to date.

Beginning next week, APH will be sending out letters and suspension orders to roughly 4,000 parents and guardians in the region to inform them that APH's immunization record for their child is not up to date.

The letters come after APH sent letters out initially last July and reminder letters in January of this year.

The current letters/suspension orders are being sent out in time for vaccine appointments to be arranged and reported to APH to avoid a 20-day suspension in the spring.

“The prevention of infectious diseases through immunization is a key component of ensuring a safe school environment,” said Dr. John Tuinema, the region's associate medical officer of health, in a prepared statement. “High rates of vaccination are imperative for achieving herd immunity and protecting our children from severe diseases."

Families can update vaccine records for their children by:

  • entering the vaccine record online 
  • calling your local Algoma Public Health office:
    • Blind River: 705-356-2551
    • Elliot Lake: 705-848-2314
    • Sault Ste. Marie: 705-759-5409
    • Wawa: 705-856-7208
  • sending a picture of the vaccine record by email, though APH also notes that, for those sending personal information by email, be aware that electronic communication is not always secure and can be vulnerable to interception
  • fax the vaccine record to 705-541-5959 (confidential fax). 

If your child requires a vaccine, you can make an appointment with your health care provider (if you have one) or with Algoma Public Health.

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