A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination

 “Vaccinating your children is the best way to keep them safe from many serious and potentially deadly diseases. You can help protect your children by getting them vaccinated on time and keeping their shots up-to-date.” - A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination.

Routine vaccination is free across Canada. This guide uses plain and accessible language to explain what vaccines and the immune system are, and how vaccines work in the body. It explains the processes for administering vaccines to children and steps to protect children who cannot receive certain vaccines due to allergic reactions or other medical conditions.

The guide lists how routine vaccines protect again the following diseases and their symptoms and possible complications:

  • Diptheria
  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Haemoplilus infulencae Type b infections
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Meningococcal infection
  • Pneumococcal Infection
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenzae
  • Rotavirus
  • Measles

The guide notes that children, like their parents, should be vaccinated before travel, and notes that this needs to be planned for in advance, as children may need special vaccinations, or need to be vaccinated earlier than would be usual for adults.

“Even one case of measles can spread quickly when people are not vaccinated. It is not easy to tell who is carrying the germ, or if your child has been exposed. Many vaccine-preventable diseases have no treatment or cure…Vaccination prevents between two and three million deaths worldwide every year. It is safe, simple and it works!”

Children need to be vaccinated at several stages in order to be fully protected, and some vaccines need to be given more than once to build up a child’s immune system. Immunization schedules vary amongst provinces and territories – ask your healthcare provider or go online to www.Canada.ca/health for a vaccination schedule for your province or territory.

The guide provides information on what to do if you miss a shot in your child’s vaccination schedule, or if you move to a province or territory with a different vaccination schedule.

The guide notes the importance of keeping a record of your child’s vaccinations. Parents are normally issued with a vaccination record (card or booklet) with the child’s recommended schedule at the first clinic visit. Parents are encouraged to ask for one, if it is not offered. In some parts of Canada, including B.C., children need to have their vaccinations up-to-date before starting school or daycare. It is useful to have your child’s vaccination schedule if you need to take your child to see a healthcare provider outside of Canada.

The guide ends with helpful hints for parents when taking their child for their vaccination appointments.

You can order up to 25 free copies of A Parent’s Guide to Vaccinationhere or by phone at 1-800-622-6232.