What is it?Immunization Compliance is based on the proportion of students who are compliant with Ontario's Routine Immunization Schedule. Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, Toronto Public Health is responsible for the collection and assessment of student immunization records.
Why is it important?Immunization is considered the single most important way parents can protect their children from serious diseases. Many diseases that were once fatal to children have been eliminated through the introduction of vaccines. In order for immunization programs to continue to be successful, high immunization rates of over 95% must be maintained to ensure “herd immunity” which prevents diseases from spreading within a community. Without herd immunity, the number of cases of illness can quickly increase.
What does it mean?The majority of students in Toronto are compliant with immunization schedules. Figure 1 shows the percent of students in Grade 7 who are compliant with the immunization schedule for Hepatitis B and Meningococcal disease out of the total number of students enrolled. Figure 2 shows that the vast majority of Grade 2 students are in compliance with the Immunization School Pupils Act diseases (which include Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella). Figure 3 shows that approximately one third of female Grade 8 students were not compliant with the Human papillomavirus immunization schedule.
CalculationNumerator: Number of students who are in compliance with the Ontario immunization schedule for a particular disease / group of diseases
Denominator: Total number of students who were enrolled
Figure 1Source: Numerator & Denominator – Toronto Public Health. Panorama Enhanced Analytical Reporting (PEAR). 2015/2016. Extracted on July 4, 2016.
- This figure refers to students who were born in 2003 and may or may not correspond exactly to students enrolled in Grade 7.
- Hepatitis B is a disease caused by a virus that affects the liver and can cause permanent damage. Hepatitis is the largest cause of liver cancer.
- Meningococcal is a very serious disease caused by the meningococcus bacteria. Meningococcal disease occurs in two main forms. Meningococcal septicaemia occurs when the bacteria infect the bloodstream and cause blood poisoning. Meningococcal meningitis occurs when the bacteria infect the outer lining around the brain and spinal cord.
Figure 2Sources: Numerator & Denominator – Toronto Public Health. Panorama Enhanced Analytical Reporting (PEAR). 2015/2016. Extracted on July 4, 2016.
- This figure refers to students who were born in 2008 and may or may not correspond exactly to students enrolled in Grade 2.
- Diphtheria is a serious disease that is passed to other through coughing and sneezing. Diphtheria causes sore throat, fever and chills. It can be complicated by breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. One out of every 10 people who get Diphtheria will die.
- Tetanus is a serious disease that occurs when the tetanus germ gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are usually found in soil, dust and manure. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Two out of every 10 people who get tetanus will die.
- Polio is a serious disease that is caused by drinking water or eating food with the polio germ in it. Polio can also be spread from person to person. It can cause nerve damage and paralysis that can cause problems with breathing, talking, eating and walking. Polio can also cause death.
- Measles is a highly contagious infection that causes high fever, cough, rash, runny nose and watery eyes. Measles can also cause complication such as ear infections, pneumonia and encephalitis, an infection of the brain that may cause brain damage and developmental delays.
- Mumps is a viral infection that causes fever, headache and swelling of the cheek, jaw and neck. It can also cause very painful, swollen testicles in about one out of four teenage boys or adult men, and painful infection of the ovaries in one out of 20 women. Mumps can also cause deafness in some people.
- Rubella is usually a mild illness in children but it may cause fever, sore throat, swollen glands in the neck and a rash on the face and neck. Rubella can be followed by chronic arthritis or cause temporary blood clotting problems and encephalitis. Rubella is very dangerous in pregnant women because it can cause the baby will develop congenital rubella syndrome and be severely disabled or die.
Figure 3Sources: Numerator & Denominator – Toronto Public Health. Panorama Enhanced Analytical Reporting (PEAR). 2015/2016. Extracted on July 4, 2016.
- This figure refers to students who were born in 2002 and may or may not correspond exactly to female students enrolled in Grade 8.
- Human papillomaviruses (HPV) is a very common virus that is spread during sexual activity through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. HPV is a known cause of cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile and anal cancer. Some types of HPV can also lead to skin lesions such as genital warts.
- Prior to September 2016, the HPV immunization program included only female students. In the future, immunization compliance data will be available for male students as well.