As 2017 was closing, according to records assessed by Toronto Public Health between July and the end of December, over 5000 Toronto elementary school students were suspended because of incomplete immunization records. All the students were allowed back in school once their records were sorted out.

Ontario is one of only two provinces — along with New Brunswick — that require immunization records for school attendance. (Manitoba until recently required proof of the measles vaccine. The province dropped this requirement in 2014.)

Anti-vaxxer denialism seems not to be the major culprit. By far the driver of the problem has been a complicated and outdated system combined with parental ignorance/negligence, whether about knowing when to take their children for the relevant vaccinations or about offering a valid exemption from the vaccine.

Where should responsibility lie for keeping students’ immunization records up to date? Should we take a libertarian approach and leave the responsibility to parents? It seems that this approach has been a huge part of the problem. So is a more socialist approach appropriate? If so, should we lean on the healthcare system, the school administrations, or a combination of these to take on the responsibility of keeping everyone informed and all records up to date?