Waterloo Region’s directors of education as well as its medical officer of health have issued an open letter to parents that notes that COVID-19 vaccine immunization records are being reviewed alongside class lists to support outbreak management within schools.
“COVID-19 immunization for students is not mandatory. However, understanding the student immunization status and coverage within classes and schools will better enable public health units to respond if there is an outbreak,” read the letter co-signed by WRDSB’s jeewan chanicka, WCDSB’s Loretta Notten and Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang.
“Local public health units will be reviewing and assessing students’ COVID-19 vaccination information together with class lists to support case, contact and outbreak management within schools. This is only applicable to students eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., those born in 2009 or earlier).”
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The letter goes on to say that the information collected by public health will remain confidential and will only be used in support of case, contact and outbreak management within schools.
It says the move is being made under Section 39(2)(a) of the Personal Health Information and Privacy Act (PHIPA).
The letter says that officials from public health may contact caregivers if they have questions about a student’s immunization status.
“For example, they may have questions about a particular immunization record (e.g., dose timing), or information that is missing,” it notes.
“They can also answer any questions you may have and provide information related to COVID-19 vaccines.”
The letter says it is important to have accurate information so that Waterloo Public Health is informed during a potential outbreak.
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