As children get older, their protection from infant immunizations can wear off. They can also be at risk of new diseases.
As children get older, the protection from infant immunizations can wear off. Children can be at risk of new diseases as they enter kindergarten and in their pre-teen and teen years.
Routine school-aged immunizations are free
Routine school-age immunizations are free.
Anyone aged six months and older is eligible for the vaccine. Parents can register their children in the Get Vaccinated provincial system to be notified of when they can get vaccinated. The vaccines are free and children do not need BC Care Cards to receive them.
Kindergarten, starting at four years of age
To provide the best protection possible, we recommend that your child be immunized before they enter kindergarten.
The following vaccines are free for children, starting at age four:
Does my child need immunizations to attend kindergarten?
- All B.C. students are required to have their complete immunization records in the Provincial Immunization Registry. This applies to children from kindergarten to grade 12, in public and independent schools and those who are home-schooled.
- If someone at school has a vaccine-preventable disease, children who are unprotected (not immunized) may be asked to stay home until it is safe to return.
- Some children can not be immunized against certain diseases because of medical conditions. If other non-immunized children bring disease into a school, it can be serious and even deadly for those children.
- Your child could get seriously ill if a vaccine-preventable disease, such as mumps or measles, circulates in a school or community and they do not have immunity. Vaccines are safe and are your child's best protection. You can learn more about vaccine safety and myths about vaccines.
Where can I get my kindergarten-aged child immunized?
The Tdap-IPV (or approved product) and MMRV vaccines are free and can be provided by your:
- Family doctor
- Pharmacist (for children four years of age and older)
- Local Public Health unit
Grade 6 and 9
Students in grade 6 and 9 are immunized by a nurse from public health at school.
Information and consent forms for grade 6 and grade 9 will be sent home at the beginning of the school year. Please complete, sign and return the consent form to your child’s school.
It is recommended and encouraged that parents/guardians discuss consent for immunization with their children.
B.C.s’ legislated Infant’s Act states that children under the age of 19, can provide consent for health care if the health care provider determines that the child is capable of making this decision. This is called mature minor consent and includes providing consent for immunizations.
Although there is no set age when a child can give mature minor consent for immunizations, in most circumstances nurses working in Public Health in B.C. will get consent from the parents/guardians of children in grade 6. However, nurses working in public health in B.C. will offer mature minor consent as an option for grade 9 students who are able to understand the benefits and possible reactions (side effects) for each vaccine and the risk of not getting immunized.
We Can Be the First - ImmunizeBC and HPV
What immunizations does my child need if we are new to Canada?
Immunization schedules are often different from country to country. As a New Canadian there may be free vaccines that your child needs. Talk with your doctor or a nurse from your local public health unit to find out what vaccines your child may be missing.
What vaccines does my child need if they have a chronic health condition?
Different chronic health conditions can put your child at risk for different vaccine preventable diseases. Talk with your doctor or a nurse from your local public health unit to find out what vaccines your child may need.
Booking an immunization appointment with Public Health
Residents of Fraser East (Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope), call 604-702-4906
Residents in any other area of Fraser Health, call 604-476-7087
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
Note: When making an appointment with Public Health, you will be offered a text message reminder through the ImmunizeBC text message reminder system.
What if my child is sick when their immunization is due?
There is no need to delay getting your child immunized because of a cold or other mild illness. For more serious illnesses, check with your health care provider prior to your appointment.
How can I help my child have a positive immunization experience?
How can I get my child's immunization records?
Learn how to get a copy of your child's immunization records.
Keep your child’s immunization record in a safe place. They may need it later for school, to travel to other countries or to take to hospital in case of an emergency.
If your child’s immunization record is lost, contact Public Health for a copy of their records and record it on an immunization card.
Know what's next on your vaccine schedule by:
Immunization information, materials and resources for parents and health care professionals.
- Family immunization stories:
Parents Sherie and Cayley share their stories on why they decided to immunize their children.
- Caring for Kids: Immunization
A parent’s guide to immunization information on the Internet.
- Teacher and student education resources
- Adult learning resources
- Welcome to Kindergarten! newsletter
- HealthLink BC: The benefits of vaccinating your child
Information on why you should consider immunizing your child.
- BC Centre for Disease Control: Immunizations and vaccines
Comprehensive information on immunization and vaccines.
- Map of immunization coverage in B.C.
- Kids Boost Immunity
Curated lessons with interactive quizzes that mirror your province's science, health and social studies curriculum – all for free. For every quiz that students complete, they will earn a vaccine for someone in need.
- World Health Organization: Immunizations
General immunization information, publications, multimedia, policies and statistics.
- Immunization information on the Internet - Can you trust what you read?
The goal of this fact sheet is to help you decide if vaccine information you find on the Internet is accurate.
- Tommy's Force Field
Public health nurse Marilee Hare created this immunization resource to educate children on the importance of getting vaccinated.
- Video: I lost my friend to meningitis
A video about the importance of getting vaccinated against meningococcal disease. It only took four days for meningitis to take Leo's life. In B.C., Canada, grade 9 students will be offered a vaccine that prevents deaths like Leo's.