Vaccination requirements for school attendance

Advisory Alert

January 11 2023

*Cette information est seulement disponible en anglais.

To: Local Health System Partners


Vaccines required for school attendance under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is currently reviewing student immunization records and contacting parents of children under 18 whose records indicate that they are not fully immunized. It is anticipated that parents may contact your office to obtain immunization records or to make an appointment for the student to receive vaccination.

This Advisory Alert provides further information about the requirements for vaccination under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, guidance on immunizing eligible students, and vaccine availability and ordering information.

Vaccines required under ISPA

Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) requires that children and adolescents attending licensed daycare, primary, and secondary school be appropriately immunized against designated diseases, unless they have a valid exemption. Designated diseases include:

The specific vaccine product used for vaccination and the number of doses required under ISPA depend on the age of the child and their vaccination history. Vaccines administered that are not appropriate for age or requirement, or those that are administered at less than the recommended intervals, are considered invalid.

Please review any immunization records you may have for the student prior to vaccinating to determine the student’s eligibility for vaccination, as well as the vaccines that are required to fulfill ISPA requirements. In some cases, the specific vaccines required by ISPA may not be part of your current inventory but are available for special order. Please refer to the Ontario Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule to verify that your patients have received all necessary immunizations.

Guidance for immunizing eligible students

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis and Polio Vaccine [with and without Hib] (DTaP-IPV-Hib) and Tdap- IPV  

Vaccination of infants and children aged 2 months to 6 years is outlined in the Ontario Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule. The product used for infants and toddlers is DTaP-IPV-Hib (e.g., Pediacel®). The number of doses and the vaccine product required depends on the age of the child and their vaccination history.

The 4 to 6-year booster is generally given as Tdap-IPV (Adacel-Polio® or Boostrix-Polio®), provided the child has been immunized in accordance with the routine schedule and has received all of the required doses in the primary series for which they are eligible. Refer to the Ontario Publicly Funded Schedule for further information. The vaccine products required for immunization are available through your usual ordering practices.

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap) – Booster Dose

Adolescents requiring vaccination against diphtheria, pertussis, and/or tetanus should receive a single dose of Tdap vaccine (i.e., Adacel® or Boostrix®). Although it is commonly referred to as the 14-to-16-year booster, it is required that students receive this vaccine 10 years after their last primary dose of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis containing vaccine (given at 4 to 6 years of age). If the child received this dose at age 4, they become overdue for vaccination, and thus flagged for suspension if not compliant after age 14. Tdap vaccine products are available for ordering through your routine vaccine ordering practices.

Meningococcal Conjugate C Vaccine

Children born on/after September 1, 2003 require vaccination with meningococcal conjugate C vaccine (e.g., Menjugate Liquid or NeisVac-C®), which protects against meningococcal conjugate serogroup C. This vaccine is to be given after the age of 1 year. Infants ˂ 1 year who have received a previous dose(s) will require an additional dose after 1 year of age.

Meningococcal Conjugate ACYW-135 Vaccine

Adolescents in grades 7 to 12 require vaccination with Meningococcal conjugate ACYW-135 vaccine (Men-C-ACYW-135) which protects against meningococcal disease serogroups A/C/Y/W-135 (e.g., Nimenrix®, Menactra® or Menveo). Men-C-ACYW-135 vaccine is not typically a product that is part of your vaccine inventory. This vaccine may be ordered in specific cases where the student is requesting vaccination through your office. Administering a meningococcal conjugate C vaccine (e.g., Menjugate® or NeisVac-C®) does not meet the requirement for ISPA for adolescent students.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella Vaccines

These vaccines are required in accordance with the Ontario Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule. Vaccine products are available through your usual ordering practices.


Health care providers and parents/guardians are reminded to notify Public Health when any vaccine is administered to a school-aged child so that their student immunization record can be updated.

Please send immunization records by fax to 705.677.9616. This line is confidential.

Should you have any questions, please contact our immunization program at 705.522.9200, ext. 458.


Original Signed By

Dr. Imran Adrian Khan, BSc, MBBS, MPH, CCFP, FRCPC

Public Health Physician

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This item was last modified on January 12, 2023