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Vaccine Exemption

What is a vaccine exemption?

A parent or guardian may choose to either temporarily or permanently exempt a child from receiving vaccinations. An exemption may be obtained if there are medical reasons why the child should not be vaccinated or if the family chooses not to vaccinate the child based on conscience or religious belief. A vaccine exemption allows an unimmunized child to attend daycare or school as long as there are no outbreaks in the facility.

What does vaccine exemption mean for my child?

Vaccines trigger your child’s immune system to make antibodies that fight disease. If your child is not vaccinated, he or she lacks these antibodies for protection (immunity) and is at risk if exposed to the disease. Immunization not only protects your child, but everyone around him or her. Learn more about immunization for your family.

In the event of a communicable disease outbreak at the school or daycare, the Medical Officer of Health will not allow an unimmunized child to attend until the outbreak is over. As a result, your child could miss a significant amount of school time.

What is the process to exempt my child from receiving vaccines?

The process for vaccine exemptions for children in child care is determined by the Child Care and Early Years Act. The process for vaccine exemptions for children in primary and secondary school is determined by the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

One of the following documents is required by the Medical Officer of Health:

  • Statement of Medical Exemption
    • A physician or nurse practitioner must complete and sign the statement.
    • The original signed statement is to be delivered or mailed to the Health Department: Immunization Services
      Halton Region Health Department
      1151 Bronte Road, Oakville
      L6M 3L1
    • A copy of the signed statement must be provided to the child care centre
    • Please keep a copy of the statement for your records