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Canadian Parents To Take Class In Science Of Immunization If They Object To Vaccines

May 24, 2016 08:20 PM EDT
 Vials of Priorix, Synflorix and Hexyon children's vaccines
Parents who object to vaccines required to attend a class.
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Parents in Ontario, Canada who object to vaccines are required to complete an evidenced-based course in the science of vaccination in order to exempt their children from immunization requirements in public schools.

On May 12, Health Minister Eric Hoskins tabled a bill that if passed, it requires parents to file religious or moral objections to complete a course intended to inform them of the importance of immunization, the dangers of skipping, it and the purpose of "herd immunity."

"Choosing to vaccinate your child protects them from disease, and it protects vulnerable children who can't get vaccinated for medical reasons," Hoskins said in a report by Independent UK.

"If passed, the proposed amendments to the Immunization of School Pupils Act would help parents and guardians make informed decisions about vaccination," he added.

The new legislation also requires health-care providers to report to the public health unit what vaccines are given to children in order to reduce school suspensions over out-of-date immunization records. Parents and/or guardians are responsible to ensure children's vaccination records are up to date.

According to CBC, under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, children must get certain vaccines before they go to their schools in the province, or at least have a valid exemption. The required vaccines include diphtheria, mumps, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, pertussis or known as whooping cough, and meningococcal disease. Those who born in 2010 or later, the vaccine regimen includes varicella (chickenpox).

The public health units warned parents about potential suspensions if they found that their kids' records is out-of-date, earlier this year. On March 1, Toronto Public Health sent letters to the families of 45,000 elementary and high school students that include review of immunization records, and in the same day, public health officials in Ottawa issued another round of suspensions for students due of out-of-date records.

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