Toronto starts mandatory vaccination policy for children entering public schools

Story highlights Just 13 city employees are facing suspension as a result of not vaccinating their children.

The mandate for officials to vaccinate children entering public schools was set for Tuesday, Dec. 18.

The Toronto District School Board for all intents and purposes just got a lot tougher.

It comes just weeks after the city introduced a mandatory vaccination requirement for children entering public schools starting Tuesday, Dec. 18.

The new policy was implemented in early November as part of a plan to curb measles outbreaks throughout the city. Doctors, parents and various organizations had been calling for more protection against the contagious disease for several years. The Toronto Public Health department has faced ongoing pressure to introduce the mandatory vaccine requirement, and ultimately, school boards across the city finally decided to go with the plan.

If a child entering a public school refuses to get vaccinated, it is strongly encouraged the child is put into the home. The school board requires parents to provide proof that their child is vaccinated if the child misses class due to an illness. However, there’s no timeline to get a children’s immunization up to par or put them back in school.

In addition to requiring the child be vaccinated, there’s also a $200 fine for each day the child is not vaccinated.

Several school and health officials have expressed their concern over the huge numbers of parents who have opted not to vaccinate their children, saying the decision to not vaccinate their children at school could have a negative impact on their health.

Officials have stated the health officials are concerned “choice is being restricted” and the decision to not vaccinate a child could put “particular community” members at risk. Vaccination requirements appear to have increased since 1998, when Dr. Andrew Wakefield was discredited after publishing a controversial study linking vaccines to autism.

The Toronto District School Board did not respond to CNN’s request for comment by publication time.

Yet according to the current count of 13 affected employees, less than 1% of City of Toronto employees are facing possible suspension because of their decisions not to vaccinate their children.

The NHS say that 25% of Torontonians still choose not to vaccinate their children.

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