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Protect your children against serious diseases by ensuring your family’s immunizations are up to date.

Fraser Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Shovita Padhi urges parents to protect their children against serious diseases by ensuring their family’s immunizations are up to date -- this includes having children immunized before starting kindergarten.

“A lot of planning goes into getting a child ready for their first day of school,” says Dr. Padhi, a child immunization expert. “It’s important to plan ahead and include immunizations on your list of things to do.”

Kindergarten immunizations are recommended for children from four to six years of age to protect them from vaccine-preventable diseases including tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

In Canada, widespread immunization practices have completely eliminated diseases like polio and diphtheria, however, we continue to experience outbreaks of measles, mumps and pertussis (whooping cough) in regions that are under-immunized.

It’s important to consider that when children start school they come into contact with hundreds of other children, which can put them at risk of contracting illnesses. Although in health care, we have yet to find a cure for the common cold, we do work with schools to put safeguards in place to reduce disease outbreaks. Recommending student immunizations at school registration is a key part of that work.

Just as in the larger community, when most children in a school are vaccinated it creates a ‘herd immunity’ effect. Herd immunity makes it harder for the disease to spread. It also protects children and family members who are too young to be immunized and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

It is easy to follow B.C.’s recommended immunization schedule. You can sign up for text reminders from Immunize BC to help you book your child’s next immunization appointment on time Or, keep record of your child’s immunizations with help from the CANImmunize tracking app.

Johvan and his parents"Johvan is immunized and ready for kindergarten," say his proud parents.

Read this kindergarten mom’s story about her child’s immunization experience.

We also have helpful resources on our website to answer all of your immunization questions.

Have questions about immunization? Below are common questions we get from parents:

Where can I get my child immunized?

Children’s immunizations are provided by your family doctor, pharmacist (five years and up) or public health nurse.

How do I access my child's immunization records?

You can find out how to get a copy of your child's immunization records here. Keep the records safe on an immunization card.

What if my child is sick when their vaccine is due?

Most children can receive vaccines even if they have a mild fever or illness. For more serious illness, please consult your family doctor.

How can I help my child cope with a fear of needles?

Watch this video for creative ways to help your child with needle pain or fear.

What other immunizations are recommended for my child?

See our web resources for immunization information on infants and toddlers and older children and youth.

Book your child’s immunization appointment today.

Watch for our social promotions about immunizations. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Help spread the word about our web resource and social media toolkit with sample tweets, posts and images to share.

Let us know what you think of our immunization campaign by taking our poll.

Medical Health Officer

Dr. Shovita Padhi is a medical health officer with Fraser Health and a clinical assistant professor in the School of Population and Public Health, in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.


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