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The purpose of the Act is to increase the protection of the health of children against diseases designated under the Act. The following diseases are currently designated: diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps and rubella. This is an important Act as it requires parents to produce a record for Public Health, indicating that their children have completed the prescribed program of immunization in relation to each of the designated diseases.
Summary of Legislated Requirements:
• The Act requires medical officers of health to maintain a record of immunization containing the information prescribed in regulations in respect of each pupil attending school within their jurisdictions.
• Medical officers of health are also required to keep under review immunization records of pupils who have not completed the prescribed program of immunization in respect of the designated diseases.
• The Act requires parents to cause their children (who are pupils) to complete the prescribed program of immunization. It also allows for exemptions from the immunization requirements upon receipt by the medical officer of health of a statement of medical exemption or conscience or religious belief.
• The Act gives the medical officer of health the authority to order the person who operates the school to suspend from school, pupils for whom the medical officer of health has not received a completed record of immunization or a statement of exemption.
• The Act gives the medical officer of health authority to order the person who operates the school to exclude from school, pupils without evidence of immunization or immunity in the event of an outbreak of the disease against which immunization is required.
• The Act requires physicians who administer immunizing agents to provide the parents with a statement indicating the agent has been administered.
• Where a pupil transfers from a school, the Act requires the operator of the school to give notice of the transfer to the medical officer of health.
• Where an order has been issued, the Act provides for a hearing, if requested within 15 days.
• Under the Act those served with an order may appeal, however the order
goes into effect when it is served.