Waterloo Public Health says it has issued 18,643 suspension orders for elementary students in the area whose vaccination records aren’t in order.
The agency says families and caregivers now have six weeks to act or their kids will be suspended.
It noted that the orders went out on Feb. 1, which gives families until March 27 to get their vaccinations or their records updated with public health.
In a release, WPH noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic routine vaccine coverage rates for things such as measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria and chickenpox took a giant dip.
“Vaccination protects kids and keeps schools healthy by stopping the spread of serious and preventable disease,” medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang stated.
“Children who are not vaccinated are at increased risk of getting infections and spreading diseases to others. The enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils Act is critical for ensuring the health and wellbeing of our community.”
In November 2023, public health issued 27,567 warnings to those with children who had outdated vaccination records.
Since that time, it has had catch-up clinics and run advertising campaigns to try and help people get their kids’ vaccination records in order.
Suspension orders for high school students who do not have up-to-date vaccinations are expected to be issued next month and they will have until May 27 to get their records in order.