Renfrew County students play catch-up with immunizations this summer
Thousands of students across Renfrew County will be doing catch-up this summer, but not on homework.
Nearly 3,000 students across the region received notices from the health unit and their schools indicating that they are due to get up to date on their immunizations.
"Due to the pandemic we had to put some of these surveillance efforts on pause, but now we're happy to be able to be back out and promoting the required vaccines for students to attend school," says Erin Vereyken, manager of clinical services with the Renfrew County Health Unit.
Required by the province, the list of mandatory vaccinations includes tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox for those born on or after January 1, 2010.
Any students who return to school unvaccinated could face suspension.
Students are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend school. No COVID-19 vaccine has been approved yet for children under the age of five.
"By continuing to keep students up to date with their records then it helps keep our schools safe and disease free," says Vereyken.
Tony Martin was first in line with his daughter at the immunization catch-up clinic in Pembroke Thursday.
"In the letter, it says if you don't get it done by a certain date later his summer it could hold her back," the father tells CTV News. "But we're going to get it done. It gets done in one shot and then she's good for many more years to come."
Local student Olivia Mohan is going into grade eleven and wasn't going to let a needle stop her from her upcoming school humanitarian trip.
"I need to the tetanus because I'm going with my school to the Dominican, [...] we'll be building houses and giving food to other people and stuff like that," says Mohan.
"She hasn't had to miss out on anything at school or anything like that," says Mohan's mother Wendy.
"The letters came at the end of June so it was good timing that they had these clinics now so that we can get it done before September."