Vaccination Canada: Regulations Parents Need To Know Before School Starts

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In light of the back to school season, and California’s new vaccine law, it’s important to know what the immunization regulations are in Canada.

First off, vaccinations are definitely recommended, but they are not mandatory in Canada.

However, Ontario and News Brunswick have regulations that require proof of your child’s immunizations for school entry.

Exemptions to this include anyone with medical or personal reasons, but these exceptions aren’t as simple as a “no thanks” from parents.


Ontario has proposed legislation for all parents who wish to refuse their child’s immunization for personal reasons to attend an “educational session” hosted by a public health centre. After that, they can get an official exemption form.

The form states that their child will be “excluded from school if there is an outbreak or immediate risk of an outbreak” at their school. Ontario schools would be able to turn away students who don't have this form or their vaccinations.

The city of Hamilton, Ontario, already advised parents to get their children vaccinated for the school year and to make sure their records are updated.

“Even though a child’s immunizations may be up-to-date, public health records may not be. Reporting vaccine records to public health is the responsibility of parents,” they stated on their website.

Manitoba used to require proof for measles for children to attend school, but it now appears to be voluntary.

If your child is starting or going back to school this year, here’s everything you need to know about making sure their immunizations are up to date:

What vaccines are required in Ontario?

  • Meningococcal disease
  • Pertussis
  • Varicella
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella

What vaccines are required in New Brunswick?

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella

Where can I get my child vaccinated?

They’re available at your family health care provider and are free of charge.

How to report vaccine records:

Ask your child’s doctor for their yellow immunization sheet, and contact Public Health in your area.

For more information ask your healthcare provider or visit your province's or territory's public health website.

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