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.
Free routine vaccinations
Routine school-age immunizations are free.
What immunizations does my child need if we are new to Canada?
Immunizations 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 public health nurse 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 public health nurse to find out what vaccines your child may need.
Kindergarten, starting at 4 years of age
To provide the best protection possible, we recommend that your child be immunized before they enter kindergarten.
For an immunization appointment contact your family doctor, local pharmacist (for those 5 years of age and older), or Public Health.
Are my child's immunizations up to date for kindergarten?
Where can I get my child immunized?
The Tdap-IPV (or approved product) and MMRV vaccines are free and can be provided by your:
- Family doctor
- Pharmacist (for children 5 years of age and older)
- Public Health nurse
Find out about B.C.'s new measles immunization catch-up program
The BC Government launched a measles immunization catch-up program to help B.C. families ensure their children are protected from measles.
The program will run from April through June 2019. Visit the B.C. measles immunization catch-up program page for details.
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.
Does my child need immunizations to attend kindergarten?
- Immunizations protect us from serious diseases. By making sure you and your family are up-to-date with your immunizations, you protect yourself, your family and others from serious diseases.
- Immunization of school-aged children is not mandatory in B.C. at this time, however, it is strongly recommended before school entry.
- 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.
Grade 6 and 9
Students in grade 6 and 9 are immunized by public health nurses at 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 public health nurses in B.C. will get consent from the parents/guardians of children in grade 6. However, public health nurses 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.
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:
- Family immunization stories:
Parents Kacey, Gurpreet, Sherie and Cayley share their stories on why they decided to immunize their children.
Immunization information, materials and resources for parents and health care professionals.
- 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.
- 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.