COMPLETE the Online Grade 7 Immunization Consent Form once you have reviewed this fact sheet and FAQs.
Meningococcal Vaccine (Men-C-ACYW-135), Hepatitis B Vaccine, and Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV9)
These three vaccines are offered for free to Grade 7 students in Ontario as part of the routine school-based immunization program. Vaccination is the best prevention for these three infections. It is important to receive these vaccinations before any contact or exposure occurs.
Meningococcal Vaccine (Men-C-ACYW135)
Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection that can cause:
- Meningitis: an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord
- Septicemia: a blood infection that can damage organs
Meningococcal disease is rare, but it is fatal in 1 out of 10 people infected. Also, up to one-third of people infected will have a permanent disability. It is spread through droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing or through direct contact (e.g. sharing water bottles, eating utensils, kissing). The meningococcal vaccine provided in Grade 7 protects against 4 of the most common and severe strains of bacterial meningitis (A,C,Y,W135).
For more information, read Ontario Meningococcal Fact Sheet.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine
HPV is a highly contagious viral infection that causes:
- 90% of cervical cancers, 90% of genital warts, and cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, and throat.
About 75% of sexually active Canadians will have at least one HPV infection in their lifetime. HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact in the genital area (penetration is not required) or during genital, anal, or oral sex. HPV9 vaccine protects against 9 strains of HPV (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58). It is up to 90% effective at preventing most genital warts and HPV-related cancers. This vaccine has been approved for use in Canada since 2006.
For more information, read: Ontario HPV Fact Sheet, Getting the HPV Vaccine, and www.HPVinfo.ca.
Hepatitis B (HB) Vaccine
Hepatitis B is a highly infectious, viral infection that can cause:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Abdominal pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin, eyes)
- Serious liver damage; liver cancer
It is spread through contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person or objects contaminated with their blood (razors, nail clippers, used injection drug equipment). The vaccine protects against the HB virus. The vaccine is 95-100 percent effective when you receive a complete series.
For more information, read: Ontario Hepatitis B Fact Sheet
What to expect after vaccination
- These three vaccines are safe and well tolerated
- Side effects, if they occur, are usually mild and go away in a few days
- Common side effects include redness, tenderness, and swelling at the injection site, mild headache
- Occasionally fever or chills can occur (this means the immune system is working)
- Although rare, serious side effects (e.g., anaphylaxis) are a risk with the administration of any vaccine. It is recommended that you remain in the clinic area for 15 minutes following immunization as this is the most common timeframe when anaphylaxis will occur.
Who should not get these vaccines?
- Anyone with a severe allergic reaction to any part of the vaccine or its container.
- Anyone who has had a serious allergic reaction to this vaccine in the past
- Anyone with a high fever or serious infection worse than a cold
- For meningococcal: Anyone who has been vaccinated within the past four weeks with another Men-C-C vaccine
- For hepatitis B: Anyone who has completed a hepatitis B or combination vaccine series containing hepatitis B (Twinrix®, Infanrix Hexa®)
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of a previous vaccine, please speak to a healthcare provider about getting this vaccine.
For additional information, you may call and talk with a nurse at 519-383-8331 ext. 3822 or toll-free at 1-800-667-1839.
Government of Canada.(2022, July 28). Canadian Immunization Guide: Part 4 – Active Vaccines. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthyliving/canadian-immunization-guide-part-4-active-vaccines.html;
FAQ – Meningococcal Vaccine (Men-C-ACYW-135), Hepatitis B Vaccine, and Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV9)
Do I need to submit the consent form if my child already received these vaccines or has an appointment to receive them elsewhere?
- No, you do not need to complete the consent form if you do not consent to your child receiving these vaccines at school.
- Ensure vaccines received elsewhere are reported to Lambton Public Health.
Are 3 shots ok on the same day?
- Yes, research shows that your child’s immune system can handle more than one vaccine at a time; children do not experience increased side effects when multiple vaccines are given at a time.
- Note: The three vaccines are separate and given in separate needles.
How many doses of each vaccine are needed?
- Meningococcal vaccine: 1 dose
- Hepatitis B vaccine: 2 doses (if given between 11 and 15 years of age); 3 doses (if series is not complete by age 16)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV): 2 doses (if series started before age 15); 3 doses (if series started after age 15)
Are students still eligible to receive these three vaccines if they missed them in Grade 7?
- Yes, those in Grade 8 will be offered these vaccines in school clinics in 2023/24.
- Those in Grades 9 to 12 remain eligible to receive the vaccine for free and can visit their healthcare provider or public health catch-up clinic.
- After Grade 12, there may be costs associated with receiving some of these vaccines.
Does my child need the meningococcal vaccine (Men-C-ACYW-135) in Grade 7 if they received Meningococcal Conjugate C (MenC-C) vaccine as an infant?
- Yes, the Men-C-ACYW-135 version of the vaccine protects against additional strains and is a requirement for school attendance according to the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA).
What should I do if my child misses the clinic held at their school?
- Contact your primary care provider or make an appointment at public health by calling 519-383-8331, or
- Wait until the spring school clinics to start their vaccine series.
Will my child be suspended from school if they do not get these vaccines?
- Meningococcal vaccine is required under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), so your child must receive it or have an exemption on file.
- Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines are highly recommended, but not required under ISPA.