Ottawa/Queen's Park




People for Education has sent a letter to the Ministers of Health and Education recommending that the province immediately add COVID-19 to the list of diseases under the Immunization of School Pupils Act that make it mandatory for students to be vaccinated to attend school.

Dear Ministers Lecce and Elliott and Deputy Ministers Naylor and Angus,

We are writing to strongly recommend that Ontario immediately add COVID-19 to its list of designated diseases that require immunization for school attendance.

As you know, under Ontario’s current Immunization of School Pupils Act, children who attend primary or secondary school must be immunized against a list of specific diseases including:

meningitis (meningococcal disease)
whooping cough (pertussis)
chickenpox (varicella) – required for children born in 2010 or later

It is vital to add COVID-19 to this list. This issue is particularly urgent because fewer than 70% of eligible 12- to 17-year-olds in Ontario are fully vaccinated, and students will be returning to school in just over two weeks.

Families and staff need greater assurance that everything possible is being done to ensure that their schools are safe.

Yellow cardAlong with adding COVID-19 to the list of designated diseases, we agree with the recommendations of other organizations that the province make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all school staff. We also recommend that the province expedite the development of standardized Proof of Vaccination Certificates. This will help school administrators to implement current case contact policy that includes different requirements based on vaccination status.

We continue to call on the province to convene a Health and Education Task Force to support the development of comprehensive policy and strategies for schools, so that all students, families, and staff are safe, and so that students receive appropriate support for their physical and mental health, their overall well-being, and their educational needs.

We look forward to working with you on this.


Annie Kidder, Executive Director,  People for Education

source: People for Education




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