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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Vaccine Exemptions

Vaccination is the best way to protect children from serious diseases like measles, polio, diphtheria and tetanus in Canada and across the world. Vaccines are safe and effective – and they help the immune system learn how to protect itself against disease. When children are not immunized, they’re at risk for the diseases that vaccines prevent. As a parent, you can keep your children healthy by following Ontario's Routine Immunization Schedule.

It’s the law

To keep our communities safe, immunizations are required under the Child and Early Years Act (2014) and Immunization of School Pupil's Act (R.S.O. 1990) for children to attend child care and school in Ontario.

However, some children are not immunized because of serious illness or allergy or due to their family’s philosophical beliefs. To exempt your child for medical or non-medical reasons, please review the information below.

 

Questions

If you have any questions after reviewing this information, please call 519-663-5317 and ask to speak to a nurse on the Vaccine Preventable Diseases team.

 

Disease outbreaks at school
If your child is not immunized and there is a disease outbreak at your child’s school, the Medical Officer of Health will not allow your child to attend school until the outbreak is over. This is done to protect your child’s health. Please learn about the risks of not immunizing your child.

COVID-19 vaccinations
Although the COVID-19 vaccine is important for students in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in school, it is not currently a vaccine required under the Immunization of School Pupil's Act (R.S.O. 1990). Students who are not immunized against COVID-19 do not require an exemption.


Section 1: Exemptions for School-Aged Children

Since immunizations are required by law for children 4 to 17 years of age to attend school in Ontario, a legal affidavit is required if children are not going to be immunized. There are two types of exemptions for school-aged children: non-medical exemption (for philosophical/conscience belief) and medical exemptions. Please see below for instructions to complete both types of these exemptions.

(A) Non-Medical Exemption (Philosophical/Conscience Belief)
This type of exemption requires both an affidavit and completion of a mandatory Immunization Education Session. Please follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Complete the mandatory Immunization Education Session that covers:
    • Basic information about immunization
    • Vaccine safety
    • Immunization and community health
    • Immunization law in Ontario

    To complete the Immunization Education Session, click on one of the links below:
    • English video: https://youtu.be/WIvdduUFUMk
    • French video: https://youtu.be/06J4Iv_BhnQ
  2. Notify the Middlesex-London Health Unit that you have completed the Immunization Education Session by completing this survey. NOTE: If you are submitting an exemption for more than one child, please complete the survey once for each child. A Vaccine Education Certificate will be emailed to you for your records as well as a copy of the Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Form. A parent who completes the education session will not be required to do it again should they choose to exempt another child in the future.
  3. Complete the Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Form and have it signed and stamped by a commissioner of oaths, notary public, or a justice of the peace. Please see Information about Signing the Affidavit for more information.
  4. Make a copy of the affidavit for your personal records and then mail in or drop off the original affidavit to: Middlesex-London Health Unit - 355 Wellington Street, Suite 110, London, Ontario N6A 3N7. Please note the school does not require a copy of this form. All exemptions are managed through the public health unit.
  5. Once the Health Unit has confirmation of the completion of the Immunization Education Session and has received the original affidavit, the exemption will be entered into the provincial database. It is a valid exemption for any school in Ontario.

(B) Medical Exemption

  1. If your child cannot be immunized because of medical reasons, you must have a doctor or nurse practitioner complete a Statement of Medical Exemption (School Pupils) Form. Please note that completing the Immunization Education Session is not required for this.
  2. Make a copy of the affidavit for your personal records and then mail in or drop off the original affidavit to: Middlesex-London Health Unit - 355 Wellington Street, Suite 110, London, Ontario N6A 3N7. Please note the school does not require a copy of this form. All exemptions are managed through the public health unit.

Section 2: Exemptions for Children in Preschool and Child Care Centres

Some children are not immunized, either due to serious illness or allergy or due to their family’s philosophical beliefs. Please see below for instructions to complete both types of these exemptions.

(A) Non-Medical Exemption (Philosophical/Conscious Belief)

  1. Complete the Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief for the Child Care and Early Years Act. Please note: this Affidavit is for children who are not yet in school and are 4 years of age and younger. Once the child is attending school, a separate form must be signed and notarized and parents must complete a mandatory Immunization Education Session. Please see exemptions for school-aged children for more information.
  2. Make a copy of the affidavit for your personal records and a copy for the licensed childcare center to have on file. Then mail in or drop off the original affidavit to: Middlesex-London Health Unit - 355 Wellington Street, Suite 110, London, Ontario N6A 3N7.

(B) Medical Exemption

  1. If your child cannot be immunized because of medical reasons, you must have a doctor or nurse practitioner complete a Statement of Medical Exemption (Child Care and Early Years) Form. Please note that completing the Immunization Education Session is not required for this medical exemption.
  2. Make a copy of the affidavit for your personal records and a copy for the licensed childcare center to have on file. Then mail in or drop off the original affidavit to: Middlesex-London Health Unit - 355 Wellington Street, Suite 110, London, Ontario N6A 3N7.

Section 3: Information about Signing the Affidavit

Fill out the form with the child’s information and check off which vaccines you would like the child to be exempt from receiving. Have the affidavit signed and stamped by a commissioner of oaths, notary public or a justice of the peace.

Commissioner of Oaths
A Commissioner of Oaths is a person authorized to take your oath in person when you sign the legal affidavit, stating that you are signing the form for your child for the purpose for which the form is intended. Commissioners of Oaths are:

  • Regional Clerk or Deputy Regional Clerk
  • City Clerk or Deputy Clerk
  • Treasurer or Deputy Treasurers of municipalities
  • Justices of the Peace
  • Lawyers
  • Licensed Paralegals
  • MP
  • MPP
  • Some staff at Service Ontario Government Information Centres (some of these commissioners may choose not to sign exemption forms).

There may be a cost to have the form signed and photo ID will be required.

 
Date of creation: April 29, 2022
Last modified on: September 15, 2022