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Hundreds Of Ottawa Students Suspended Over Not Updating Vaccination Records

04/25/2013 03:21 EDT | Updated 04/25/2013 03:21 EDT
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At least 900 Ottawa high school students have been suspended over not updating their immunization records, according to CTV News.

The reports say students who don't have all their vaccination records up to date will be suspended for 20 days, leaving both parents and students worried about missing school and missing treatments.

"Twenty days is a long time for not having shots," grade 11 student Josh Measure told the news station.

According to the Ottawa Public Health Immunization Program, parents must provide immunization records to the city's health department during school registration, whether their child is a new student or transferring one. Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, children must be protected against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.

This information is collected and maintained by Ottawa Public Health and parents can also update records online.

In November 2012, the city sent 18,000 warning letters to parents, according to CBC News. A second batch of reminders were sent to 8,000 parents in February, and a third time to 5,000 parents in March. CBC adds final warning letters were sent to another 800 students who will be suspended next week if they can't provide proof of vaccination.

The discrepancy shouldn't be a surprise for Canadians. A recent UNICEF report on the well-being of children revealed Canada's childhood immunization rate was low — near the bottom of a list of more than 30 affluent countries.

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