Update on Vaccinations and Holiday Travel

Posted On Friday November 19, 2021

Dear Elementary Parents and Guardians,

Earlier today, Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. This is good news given that we have seen the positive impact that vaccinations have in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases.

We do not have further details to share on the vaccine rollout and encourage you to visit the Durham Region Health Department (DRHD) website in the coming days for further information about COVID-19 vaccinations in our community.

If you have specific questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for youth/children and you cannot find the answer from DRHD, SickKids is offering confidential, convenient and accessible vaccine consultation services for children, youth and their families. More information can be found on the SickKids Hospital website

We committed last summer that once the vaccination for this age group was made available, that we would provide one opportunity for families to consider changing from virtual to in-person schooling or vice versa. Registration for this change is expected is to be open after the winter break. Additional information will be shared in December with more specific dates about the January registration process and when the change will occur in February.

Rapid Take Home Tests for the Winter Break

The Ministry of Education announced yesterday that they will be providing school boards with enough test kits so that each student can take home a pack of five rapid tests to be used over the winter break to support a safe return to school in January. We will be sharing more information and how tests will be distributed when we receive it.

Reminder about International Travel Requirements

For those planning to travel outside of Canada over the winter holiday, we want to take this opportunity to remind families of restrictions currently in place. Individuals must follow federal testing and quarantine requirements upon return from any international travel. While unvaccinated children under the age of 12 who travelled internationally with a fully vaccinated companion are exempt from federal quarantine, as per the Government of Ontario direction, they are not permitted to attend school or childcare for 14 days following their return.

Fully vaccinated students who have travelled outside of Canada and meet the requirements to be exempt from federal quarantine, are able to attend school upon their return.

All families, particularly unvaccinated families considering international travel, must take into consideration federal testing and quarantine requirements for themselves and their dependents. Please review the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories FAQ ahead of any international travel. 

On behalf of the team at the DDSB, our sincere thanks for all that you have done to support your child during this extenuating time.


Norah Marsh
Director of Education
Durham District School Board