Find out what to expect at an immunization appointment.
What can I expect at an immunization appointment?
You will be asked to give informed consent for immunization. In order to give informed consent, you will need to read about the vaccines your child will be receiving before you arrive at your appointment with Public Health.
A link to BC HealthFiles for vaccines given to infants and children (up to school entry) can be found on the B.C. routine immunization schedule.
Parents may bring more than one child to the appointment if necessary. Translation services are available at the health unit.
You will be asked to wait for 15 minutes after your immunizations as there is a rare possibility of a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The chance of this reaction occurring is less than one in a million.
How can I prepare my child for their immunization?
Immunizations can make you and your child anxious. Learn how to make your child’s immunization experience a positive one.
Watch this two minute video to learn some tips about how it can be easier.
Can someone other than myself bring my child to their immunization appointment?
If you are having your child immunized at your public health unit, someone other than you may take your child for his or her immunizations.
Print and complete this letter. Make sure the adult taking your child brings it to the appointment. If you do not have a printer, provide a signed note that includes the following information:
- Name of parent/representative and his or her relationship to the child to be immunized.
- Name and birth date of child to be immunized.
- Name of person you are giving authority to consent.
- Date and signature of parent/representative who has delegated his or her authority.
The adult taking your child will need to be able to answer questions related to your child’s health, such as medical conditions and allergies.
Plan to be available by phone during your child’s appointment in case the public health nurse has questions that the accompanying adult cannot answer.
What should I do if I don't have my immunization records?
If you have no immunization records or you have recently moved to B.C., you will be given an appointment with a public health nurse to talk about what vaccines are recommended. You may be asked to provide any records you do have before the appointment. Please note that depending upon your history you may or may not be immunized at this appointment.
Vaccines that are part of the school program are provided by public health nurses at your child’s school. Consent forms will be sent home during the school year.
What can I expect after getting immunization?
Many people who get immunized have no side effects. For those that do, the side effects are usually mild like soreness, redness, or swelling where the vaccine was given. Some people get a fever. Some children sleep or cry more than usual. These side effects usually go away after a day or two. If you or your child experience side effects, you can:
- Put a clean, cool wet cloth on the sore area.
- Move around as usual – movement helps the soreness go away.
- Hold and cuddle your child.
- Let your child breastfeed more, or give them more to drink
- Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Follow the package instructions.
- Note: Ibuprofen should not be given to children under 6 months of age without first speaking to your health care provider. Never give aspirin (ASA) to children under 20 years of age.
Report serious or unexpected reactions to your health care provider.
- Immunize BC: Vaccines for all ages
Learn about the vaccines that are recommended for you and your family, get answers to frequently asked questions about vaccines schedules, and find out why it's important to keep track of immunizations
- Centre for Pediatric Pain Research: Strategies for helping children with shots and needles
Get tips on ways to help your child when getting immunized.
- Use the CARD system to have a more positive vaccination experience.