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Group behind legal challenge to child vaccination scheme to hold rally in Toronto

A student nurse practices the flu vaccination procedure in Montreal, Que., Feb. 26, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lee Brown.

TORONTO – A group launching a legal challenge to Ontario’s child vaccination regime is planning a rally at the provincial legislature today.

The group, which includes five parents and the organization Vaccine Choice Canada, is also expected to hold a news conference on its constitutional challenge.

They allege the Immunization of School Pupils Act breaches several charter rights, including those to freedom of conscience and religion as well as liberty and security of the person.

The law requires that children be immunized against certain diseases unless their parents obtain an objection for medical reasons or over their beliefs.

In order to get a non-medical exemption, however, parents must sign a statement of conscience or religious belief and, as of 2017, attend an information session.

Children whose parents don’t comply can be suspended from school on order from a medical officer of health.

The allegations have not been tested in court.

A spokeswoman for the minister of health says the government can’t comment on a case before the courts but is committed to ensuring a strong and effective immunization system.