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School Health Reference Guide

Immunization Clinics

The Region of Peel School Health Reference Guide is a supplementary resource to relevant Peel and Dufferin-Peel school board policies. Refer to school board policy first if you have questions or concerns.
Hepatitis B and Meningococcal Immunization Program
Grade 7 students

In Ontario, grade 7 students have the opportunity to receive publicly funded vaccines through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. These vaccines are administered by Registered Nurses from Peel Public Health and written parental/legal guardian consent is required for students under 14 years of age.

Two vaccines are offered to all grade 7 students during the school year:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal ACYW-135 (conjugate)

As of July 2014, students 12 years of age and older are required to have the meningococcal ACYW-135 vaccine or provide a valid exemption. Students that get the vaccine at school will meet this requirement.

The hepatitis B vaccine is voluntary. Both vaccines are safe and can be administered at the same time if required.

Vaccine Information and Missed Doses
Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Hepatitis B infection can permanently damage the liver and cause liver cancer.
  • The vaccine prevents liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus.
  • It is given as a series of two injections, approximately six months apart.
  • Students who missed the hepatitis B vaccine in grade 7 will be immunized in their grade 8 year.
Meningococcal vaccine
  • Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by several different types of the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis.
  • These bacteria can cause meningitis (an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) or meningococcemia (an infection of the blood).
  • The vaccine will not prevent all types of meningococcal disease, but does protect against four of the more common and deadly bacterial strains causing this disease: A, C, Y and W-135.
  • Only one dose is needed.
  • Students who missed the meningococcal vaccine in grade 7 will be immunized in their grade 8 year.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Immunization Program
Grade 8 Females

In Ontario, grade 8 female students have the opportunity to receive the publicly funded HPV vaccine through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. This vaccine is administered by Registered Nurses from Peel Public Health and written parental/legal guardian consent is required for students under 14 years of age.

Vaccine Information and Missed Doses
HPV Vaccine
  • HPV is a common virus that infects the skin and genital areas of both males and females.
  • Some types of HPV can lead to serious complications.
  • The HPV vaccine provides protection against four types of HPV, two of which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers.
  • Two or three doses of HPV vaccine are effective based on age and health conditions. Healthy girls in grade 8 between the ages of 9-13 can be vaccinated with 2 doses of HPV vaccine given six months apart. If the first dose is given before age 14, only 2 doses are needed.
  • Girls 14 years of age and older require 3 doses of the vaccine to complete the series. Students who identify with diseases and medications that effect the immune system will also need 3 doses of the vaccine to complete the series.
  • This vaccine is voluntary and safe and can be administered at the same time as other vaccines.
  • Catch-Up Clinics
    • Female students that have not completed their HPV series or did not receive any doses of the HPV vaccine in Grade 8 may receive the vaccine for free until the end of Grade 12. These students can register to attend one of Peel’s catch-up clinics.
    • To register for one of Peel Public Health's immunization catch-up clinics please call 905-799-7700. Caledon residents can call free of charge at 905-584-2216.
    School Staff Responsibilities

    Information packages distributed to principals provide detailed information about clinic operation and clinic set-up requirements of the school-based program. The information is mailed to principals in September with consents forms for all vaccines: hepatitis B, meningococcal and HPV as well as the Assessment of Students with Special Needs forms.

    Principals and schools are advised of their fall school clinic dates via fax in June of the preceding school year. The spring school clinic dates are faxed early in the new year.

    The principal or designate:
    • Reviews the principal’s information package annually.
    • Advises grade 7 and 8 teachers, administrative office staff, and custodians of scheduled clinic dates.
    • Confirms scheduled clinic dates with Peel Public Health.
    • Arranges for safe, clean and adequately sized space and set-up for the clinic as outlined in the principals’ package.
    • Ensures availability of telephone, fax, photocopier and PA system as required.
    • Distributes all consent forms and Assessment of Students with Special Needs forms (if necessary) in early September.
    • Provides alphabetized class lists to the school clinic nurses.
    • Promotes support of the program via:
      • Student announcements
      • Discussion at staff meetings
      • School newsletters
      • School website
    The class teacher:
    • Distribute consents and track completed returned consents.
    • Remains with students in the hallway, outside the clinic area.
    • Encourages a quiet and calm environment among waiting students.
    • Reinforces a positive attitude by reminding the students that the vaccine(s) help protect them from serious infections.
    • Discourages peer teasing about receiving the needle(s).
    • Addresses undesirable student behaviour.
    • Ensures orderly flow of traffic in and out of the clinic.
    • Have students sit down after receiving immunization.
    • Provides activities to keep students busy while in the hallway i.e., reading a book, doing schoolwork, etc.
    • Remains with students until they are all immunized and escorts students back to class.
    • Sends students who are feeling unwell back to the school clinic accompanied by another student or teacher.
    • Encourages students to continue with routinely scheduled activities.
    The clinic nurse:
    • Explains the importance of the vaccine to the students.
    • Discusses vaccine safety.
    • Discusses expected student behaviour during clinics.
    • Dispels any myths regarding immunization.
    • Explains the clinic process.
    • Confirms student consent.
    • Answers any questions.
    • Provides immunization.
    • Provides health care if required (related to adverse events).
    • Promotes a positive environment.
    • Directs inquiries to Peel Public Health.
    The student:
    • Returns a completed consent form, signed by their parent/legal guardian prior to the clinic date, to their teacher.
    • Answers the student assessment questions when asked by the nurse.
    • Behaves in a responsible, positive manner.
    • Informs an adult as soon as possible if they feel unwell after receiving the vaccine.
    • Gives the dates of immunization record to their parents.

For more information, call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 or visit ImmunizePeel.ca.

Adverse Events Following Immunization

If a student experiences an adverse event following immunization after the nurses have left your school, act on any medical situation as per school protocol (i.e., by sending the student to their family physician or calling emergency services).

Once the student is attended to, report any event to Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.

Some signs and symptoms of serious adverse events may include, but are not limited to:

  • Flushed face, hives, and/or itching
  • Swelling of the eyes, lips, face, or tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness and/or headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
For more information on immunization resources and programs call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.
(In Caledon, call 905-584-2216.) Or visit www.ImmunizePeel.ca.
 

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Revised: Monday September 21 2015