In-school vaccination programs in Ontario moved to clinics, doctors' offices: officials
In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 file photo, a patient receives an influenza vaccine in Mesquite, Texas. Parents are concerned about getting kids vaccinated but also worried about overcrowding at clinics and transmission of COVID. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/LM Otero)
TORONTO -- Vaccines normally offered in school to Grade 7 students will instead be delivered at community clinics and doctors' offices in parts of Ontario, meaning parents will have to make arrangements to ensure their children are immunized.
The Ministry of Health says local public health units, which are responsible for immunization programs including those in schools, are working to let residents know where they can access the vaccines.
Students in Grade 7 are typically given vaccines for Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus and Meningococcal disease in school. Some of those shots require more than one dose.
Those programs have been disrupted due to COVID-19, which has seen thousands of students choose virtual lessons over in-person classes.
In Ottawa and Toronto -- two regions experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases -- public health officials say clinics will prioritize administering the flu vaccine this fall.
But they say vaccination clinics for students will be held in the community at a later date to replace the in-school programs.