Re-emergence of vaccine preventable diseases

Advisory Alert

Importance of immunization for prevention

February 9, 2024

*Cette information est seulement disponible en anglais.

To: Local Health System Partners


Current situation

In response to recent measles cases reported in Canada, including most recently in Quebec, and recent pertussis cases identified in North-East Ontario, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding health care providers of the importance of pertussis and measles immunization as well as other routine immunizations to prevent vaccine preventable diseases.

High vaccination rates are key in preventing cases and outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases, such as pertussis, measles, chickenpox, and meningococcal disease. Public Health is urging all health care providers to promote vaccinations per the Ontario immunization schedule, particularly for children and those at high risk of illness.

Immunizations and preventing disease

Widespread receipt of vaccines, such as pertussis and measles, is essential to prevent illness in all individuals. Please refer to the Ontario Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule to verify that your patients have received all necessary immunizations based on their age and other eligibility criteria and requirements. For those missing vaccines, please provide the doses to eligible persons as soon as possible to bring them up-to-date with current recommendations and requirements.

Certain vaccines are required under provincial legislation such as the Child Care and Early Years Act (2014) and the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA). As outlined in the legislation, children and adolescents attending licensed daycare, and elementary and secondary school must be appropriately immunized against designated diseases under the ISPA unless they have a valid exemption. Designated diseases include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, pertussis, and varicella (for children born in 2010 or later).

Clinical assessment of vaccine preventable diseases

We are reminding health care providers to review any immunization records they may have for patients who present to their office for care to determine their eligibility for routine immunizations including measles. Diseases such as pertussis or measles can mirror an acute respiratory infection prior to presenting classic symptoms, which should be considered when assessing patients for a vaccine preventable disease. To support full assessment, immunization status, travel history, exposure history, and patient risk factors should be considered when assessing symptomatic patients for possible diagnosis.

Vaccine preventable diseases, such as pertussis and measles, have unique testing indications to support diagnosis. Testing requirements for each disease can be found within the Public Health Ontario Laboratory – Test  Information Index.

Reporting diseases of public health significance

Vaccine preventable diseases and other diseases of public health significance are reportable. If you suspect or are testing for a vaccine preventable disease or disease of public health significance, patients should be reported to Public Health by faxing or emailing the reporting form to 705.677.9618 or in addition to calling the number below, as applicable.

If you have any questions, please contact the Communicable Infectious Disease Program at 705.522.9200, ext. 772 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or after hours and on weekends at 705.688.4366 (24/7).

Vaccine ordering and reporting information

Vaccines may be ordered by completing the Vaccine Order Form. Forms can be submitted by email to or by fax to 1.705.677.9616.

Although parents are required to report, health care providers can also choose to voluntarily report vaccinations on behalf of their patients by notifying Public Health Sudbury & Districts when any vaccine is administered to a school-aged child so that their student immunization record can be updated. Please complete our updated reporting form and fax it to the confidential fax line above (the form is also available in French).

Parents, guardians, or students can also report vaccines using the fax number or online reporting tool linked above, or by phone at the number below.

If you have any questions, please contact the Vaccine Preventable Diseases program at 705.522.9200, ext. 458 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).


Original Signed By

Dr. Penny Sutcliffe
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer

NOTE: All Advisory Alerts are found on our website.

This item was last modified on February 9, 2024