AHS announces changes to immunization program

Alberta Health Services has announced changes to the school immunization program that will take effect for the 2018/19 school year.

• In the 2018/19 school year, public health nurses will be reviewing the immunization records of all Alberta students from Grade 1 to Grade 9 to assess immunization status. Parents will be contacted if your children are missing immunization information. 

• With parental consent, children can be offered the immunizations they are missing at school. Parents will continue to have the final decision on immunizing their children.

• In 2019/20, Alberta is moving from a three-dose vaccine schedule in Grade 5 to a two-dose vaccine schedule in Grade 6 for both Hepatitis B (HBV) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. Administering two doses at least six months apart has been shown to provide children with good protection against these diseases. This will reduce the number of injections children receive.

• The Grade 9 school immunization program, including the diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (dTap) and Meningococcal (MenC-ACYW) vaccines, will continue to be offered without change.

• Alberta Health Services, Public Health, will work closely with schools and school authorities to ensure immunization does not interfere with students taking the Provincial Achievement Tests.

• Alberta Health encourages parents to immunize their children against HPV and HBV. Vaccines are safe and effective and protect children and communities from disease.