Vaccines help build up and strengthen your immune system, protecting you against disease.

This web page will help you learn about Ontario’s free vaccine program, and make it easy to keep your family up to date with the recommended vaccinations.

Select a section below to get started.


Pregnancy - Building a healthy foundation

All expectant mothers should get the flu shot, but it’s especially important if you’ll be in the later stages of pregnancy during flu season (November to April). There is a greater risk of hospitalization from flu complications in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Routine Vaccinations

Seasonal flu vaccine

What is the flu?

Influenza, commonly known as "the flu," is a serious, acute respiratory illness that can lead to pneumonia. It is caused by a virus.

While pregnant women are no more likely to get the flu than the rest of the population, they are more likely to develop complications from an influenza infection. This is because during pregnancy, their immune system is suppressed. Pregnant women, especially those in the second and third trimesters, and women up to six weeks after delivery are at a higher risk of developing complications, such as pneumonia, from influenza. Flu shots are safe and recommended for all pregnant women.

For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines.


Pregnancy

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2 & 4 months - Building a healthy foundation

Keeping up with routine immunizations protects your new baby from a variety of diseases. You can also keep your baby safe by ensuring that all new or second-hand equipment — including car seats, cribs, strollers, carriers, bassinets, change tables, playpens and toys — meet national safety standards.

Routine Vaccinations

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) vaccine

DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine – given at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 18 months

DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine is a combined vaccine that protects children against five diseases ― diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and serious diseases like meningitis caused by haemophilus influenzae type b.

Immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a serious disease of the nose, throat and skin. It causes sore throat, fever and chills. It can be complicated by breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria kills about one out of every 10 people who get the disease. It is most often passed to others through coughing and sneezing.

What is tetanus?

Tetanus or lockjaw is a serious disease that can happen if dirt with tetanus germ gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust and manure. It does not spread from person to person. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Even with early treatment, tetanus kills two out of every 10 people who get it.

What is pertussis?

Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is a serious disease especially in children. Children who get this disease have spells of violent coughing. This cough can cause them to vomit or stop breathing for a short period of time. The cough can last for weeks and makes it hard for a child to eat, drink or even breathe. Pertussis can cause serious complications. Pneumonia can occur in more than two out of 10 children with pertussis. Pertussis can also cause brain damage, seizures and death. These problems happen most often in babies. Pertussis spreads very easily from an infected person to others through coughing or sneezing.

What is polio?

Polio is a serious disease that people can get from drinking water or eating food with the polio germ in it. It can also be spread from person to person. This disease can cause nerve damage and paralyze a person for life. It can paralyze muscles used for breathing, talking, eating and walking. It can also cause death.

What is haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease?

Even though "influenzae" is a part of its name, the Hib germ does not cause influenza. Before the Hib vaccine was used, the Hib germ was a common cause of serious infections in children. Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children two months to five years of age. Meningitis is a serious infection of the fluid and lining that cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can cause brain damage, learning and developmental problems, deafness and blindness. One out of 20 children with meningitis can die and serious disability (nerve damage, deafness) occurs in about 15 percent of cases.

The Hib germ also causes a serious infection of the throat near the voice box. This infection is called epiglottitis. This can make it difficult for the child to breathe. The Hib germ can also cause infection of the lungs (pneumonia) and bone and joint infections.

Children under five years are more likely to get Hib disease. Children who attend childcare centres are even more likely to catch it. The Hib germ spreads to others through coughing and sneezing.

Pneumococcal conjugate (Pneu-C-13) vaccine

Pneumococcal conjugate (Pneu-C-13) vaccine – given at 2 months, 4 months and 12 months

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects children against invasive pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, bacteraemia (infection of the blood) and meningitis (infection of the brain).

What is invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD)?

IPD is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called streptococcus pneumoniae (or pneumococcus). This type of bacteria can cause any of the following:

  • pneumonia (lung infection)
  • bacteraemia (infection of the blood)
  • meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)

Pneumococcal infection is also a frequent cause of ear infections (otitis media).

Pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis can sometimes cause death or long lasting complications such as deafness, especially in people with a high-risk medical condition.

Sometimes antibiotics do not work against the pneumococcal infection (this is called antibiotic resistance). Antibiotic resistance occurs when drugs, used to treat the infection, are no longer effective in killing or stopping the growth of particular microorganisms, such as pneumococcal bacteria. When there is antibiotic resistance, it is more difficult to treat the infection.

Rotavirus (Rot-1) vaccine

Rotavirus (Rot-1) vaccine – given at 2 months and 4 months

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recently introduced the new rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix TM) to the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario to protect infants against diarrhea and vomiting caused by rotavirus infection.

What is rotavirus?

Rotavirus is a common infection that causes vomiting and diarrhea in infants and children. Rotavirus is very contagious, spreading easily from children who are already infected to other infants, children and sometimes adults. Most children are infected with rotavirus at least once by five years of age. Serious but rare symptoms commonly seen in children less than two years of age include severe diarrhea, leading to hospitalization.

Rotavirus infection is a major cause of visits to health care providers and hospital stays for infants and children under five years of age in Ontario. Deaths in Ontario due to rotavirus are rare.

For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines

Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/ispa.aspx


2-4 months

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6 months - Building a healthy foundation

Routine vaccines

At 6 months, your baby should be ready to start on solid foods. Start by offering food two to three times a day, and always offer breast milk or formula first. If your baby does not eat meat, aim for at least 120 mL (8 tbsp) of iron-fortified cereal by age 9 months.

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) vaccine

DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine - given at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 18 months

DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine is a combined vaccine that protects children against five diseases ― diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and serious diseases like meningitis caused by haemophilus influenzae type b.

Immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a serious disease of the nose, throat and skin. It causes sore throat, fever and chills. It can be complicated by breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria kills about one out of every 10 people who get the disease. It is most often passed to others through coughing and sneezing.

What is tetanus?

Tetanus or lockjaw is a serious disease that can happen if dirt with tetanus germ gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust and manure. It does not spread from person to person. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Even with early treatment, tetanus kills two out of every 10 people who get it.

What is pertussis?

Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is a serious disease especially in children. Children who get this disease have spells of violent coughing. This cough can cause them to vomit or stop breathing for a short period of time. The cough can last for weeks and makes it hard for a child to eat, drink or even breathe. Pertussis can cause serious complications. Pneumonia can occur in more than two out of 10 children with pertussis. Pertussis can also cause brain damage, seizures and death. These problems happen most often in babies. Pertussis spreads very easily from an infected person to others through coughing or sneezing.

What is polio?

Polio is a serious disease that people can get from drinking water or eating food with the polio germ in it. It can also be spread from person to person. This disease can cause nerve damage and paralyze a person for life. It can paralyze muscles used for breathing, talking, eating and walking. It can also cause death.

What is haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease?

Even though "influenzae" is a part of its name, the Hib germ does not cause influenza. Before the Hib vaccine was used, the Hib germ was a common cause of serious infections in children. Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children two months to five years of age. Meningitis is a serious infection of the fluid and lining that cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can cause brain damage, learning and developmental problems, deafness and blindness. One out of 20 children with meningitis can die and serious disability (nerve damage, deafness) occurs in about 15 percent of cases.

The Hib germ also causes a serious infection of the throat near the voice box. This infection is called epiglottitis. This can make it difficult for the child to breathe. The Hib germ can also cause infection of the lungs (pneumonia) and bone and joint infections.

Children under five years are more likely to get Hib disease. Children who attend childcare centres are even more likely to catch it. The Hib germ spreads to others through coughing and sneezing.

Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/ispa.aspx


6 months

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12 months - Building a healthy foundation

Routine vaccines

At 12 months, your baby is trying new tastes and textures. Build your child’s palate with nutritious foods that are packed with the vitamins needed for healthy growth. Like routine immunizations, a healthy diet helps build a strong and healthy immune system for life.

Pneumococcal conjugate (Pneu-C-13) vaccine

Pneumococcal conjugate (Pneu-C-13) vaccine – given at 2 months, 4 months and 12 months

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects children against invasive pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, bacteraemia (infection of the blood) and meningitis (infection of the brain).

What is invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD)?

IPD is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called streptococcus pneumoniae (or pneumococcus). This type of bacteria can cause any of the following:

  • pneumonia (lung infection)
  • bacteraemia (infection of the blood)
  • meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)

Pneumococcal infection is also a frequent cause of ear infections (otitis media).

Pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis can sometimes cause death or long lasting complications such as deafness, especially in people with a high-risk medical condition.

Sometimes antibiotics do not work against the pneumococcal infection (this is called antibiotic resistance). Antibiotic resistance occurs when drugs, used to treat the infection, are no longer effective in killing or stopping the growth of particular microorganisms, such as pneumococcal bacteria. When there is antibiotic resistance, it is more difficult to treat the infection.

Meningococcal conjugate (Men-C-C) vaccine

Immunization against meningococcal disease is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.

What is meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria known as Neisseria meningitidis (commonly known as meningococcus). Meningococcal disease is a very serious infection. It occurs in people who have either come in contact with a healthy person known as a “carrier” of meningococci bacteria or come in contact with a sick person with meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal disease occurs in two main forms. Meningococcal septicaemia, also called meningococcemia, occurs when the bacteria infect the bloodstream and cause blood poisoning. Meningococcal meningitis occurs when the bacteria infect the outer lining around the brain and spinal cord.

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine - given at 12 months

The MMR vaccine is a three-in-one needle that protects against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles). It should be given to children soon after their first birthday and a second dose at 4-6 years of age with the measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine.

Immunization against measles, mumps and rubella is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.

This vaccine should also be given to adults who are not protected against measles, mumps or rubella. Pregnant women who have been told that they are not protected against rubella, should receive MMR vaccine as soon as they are no longer pregnant.

What is measles?

Measles can be a serious infection. It causes high fever, cough, rash, runny nose and watery eyes. Measles lasts for one to two weeks. Ear infections or pneumonia (lung infection) can happen in one out of every 10 children with measles. Measles can also be complicated by encephalitis, an infection of the brain, in about one out of every 1,000 children with measles. This may cause brain damage and developmental delays. Measles can also make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage or give birth prematurely.

Measles spreads from person to person very easily and quickly. People can get measles from an infected person coughing or sneezing around them or simply talking to them.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a viral infection that is characterized by fever, headache and swelling of the cheek, jaw and neck. It usually happens in children between five and nine years of age, but can also affect very young children and can result in more serious complications such as meningitis. Fortunately, mumps meningitis does not usually cause permanent damage. Recently, disease outbreaks have occurred more often among adolescents and young adults.

Mumps can cause very painful, swollen testicles in about one out of four teenage boys or adult men, and painful infection of the ovaries in one out of 20 women. Mumps infection during the first three months of pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage. Mumps can cause deafness in some people.

People can get mumps from an infected person coughing or sneezing around them or simply talking to them. It can also be spread through contact with the saliva of an infected person.

What is rubella (German measles)?

Rubella is usually a mild illness in children; up to half of the infections with rubella occur without a rash. Rubella may cause fever, sore throat, swollen glands in the neck and a rash on the face and neck. Temporary aches and pains and swelling of the joints are common in adolescents and adults, especially females, with rubella infection. Rubella can be followed by chronic arthritis (inflamed joints). It can also cause temporary blood clotting problems and encephalitis.

Rubella is very dangerous in pregnant women. If a woman gets rubella in the early part of a pregnancy, it is very likely that her baby will develop congenital rubella syndrome and be severely disabled or die.

Rubella spreads by contact with an infected person through coughing, sneezing or talking to them. It can also be spread by contact with the saliva of infected people.

For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines .

Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/ispa.aspx


12 months

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15 months - Building a healthy foundation

Routine vaccines

Toddlers thrive on a regular routine, and major changes can be challenging for them. Make sure to provide regular nap, snack, meal and bedtimes. It’s also important to continue with scheduled immunizations to keep your child’s immune system strong and healthy.

Varicella (chickenpox) (Var) vaccine

Varicella (chickenpox) (Var) vaccine - given at 15 months

Although the one-dose chickenpox vaccine program has decreased hospitalization from chickenpox infection, some children are still at risk of becoming infected after one dose. Giving two doses will further protect children against chickenpox and reduce the total number of cases, as well as complications. Chickenpox can be very severe or even life threatening to newborn babies, and anyone with a weak immune system.

Immunization against varicella is required by law for children born in 2010 or later attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.

What is varicella (chickenpox)?

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Children with chickenpox will feel sick with fatigue, mild headache, fever up to 39°C, chills and muscle or joint aches a day or two before the red rash begins. The raised itchy red blisters can be anywhere on the body. Blisters dry up and form scabs in four to five days.

Some children may experience complications or more serious problems from chickenpox such as:

  • bacterial skin infections and/or necrotizing fasciitis ("flesh-eating disease");
  • pneumonia (infection of the lungs);
  • encephalitis (infection of the brain); and
  • infection of other sites (e.g., blood).

The risk of these complications increases with age. Chickenpox spreads very easily from person to person. It is passed from an infected person to others through coughing, sneezing and even talking. You can also get chickenpox if you touch a blister or the liquid from a blister.

Birth defects may occur if the baby gets chickenpox from the mother before being born.

For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines.

Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/ispa.aspx


15 months

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18 months - Building a healthy foundation

Routine vaccines

Routines — like regular immunizations — can be the foundation for a healthy life. Family meals are a healthy routine that gives children a sense of comfort and security. Start when your child is young, and use meals as an opportunity to pass along traditions and keep the family connected.

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) vaccine

DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine - given at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 18 months

DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine is a combined vaccine that protects children against five diseases ― diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and serious diseases like meningitis caused by haemophilus influenzae type b.

Immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a serious disease of the nose, throat and skin. It causes sore throat, fever and chills. It can be complicated by breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria kills about one out of every 10 people who get the disease. It is most often passed to others through coughing and sneezing.

What is tetanus?

Tetanus or lockjaw is a serious disease that can happen if dirt with tetanus germ gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust and manure. It does not spread from person to person. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Even with early treatment, tetanus kills two out of every 10 people who get it.

What is pertussis?

Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is a serious disease especially in children. Children who get this disease have spells of violent coughing. This cough can cause them to vomit or stop breathing for a short period of time. The cough can last for weeks and makes it hard for a child to eat, drink or even breathe. Pertussis can cause serious complications. Pneumonia can occur in more than two out of 10 children with pertussis. Pertussis can also cause brain damage, seizures and death. These problems happen most often in babies. Pertussis spreads very easily from an infected person to others through coughing or sneezing.

What is polio?

Polio is a serious disease that people can get from drinking water or eating food with the polio germ in it. It can also be spread from person to person. This disease can cause nerve damage and paralyze a person for life. It can paralyze muscles used for breathing, talking, eating and walking. It can also cause death.

What is haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease?

Even though "influenzae" is a part of its name, the Hib germ does not cause influenza. Before the Hib vaccine was used, the Hib germ was a common cause of serious infections in children. Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children two months to five years of age. Meningitis is a serious infection of the fluid and lining that cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can cause brain damage, learning and developmental problems, deafness and blindness. One out of 20 children with meningitis can die and serious disability (nerve damage, deafness) occurs in about 15 percent of cases.

The Hib germ also causes a serious infection of the throat near the voice box. This infection is called epiglottitis. This can make it difficult for the child to breathe. The Hib germ can also cause infection of the lungs (pneumonia) and bone and joint infections.

Children under five years are more likely to get Hib disease. Children who attend childcare centres are even more likely to catch it. The Hib germ spreads to others through coughing and sneezing.

Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/ispa.aspx


18 months

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4-6 years - Building a healthy foundation

Routine vaccines

Dental care is as important as regular immunization when it comes to your child's overall health. Serve food from all food groups, limit sugary snacks and drinks, and have kids brush their teeth twice a day. And children are wonderful imitators, so let your child watch you brushing your teeth as often as possible.

Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and polio (Tdap-IPV) vaccine

Tdap -IPV vaccine – given at 4 to 6 years

Tdap-IPV vaccine is a combined vaccine that protects children against four diseases ― tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and polio.

Immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.

What is tetanus?

Tetanus or lockjaw is a serious disease that can happen if dirt with the tetanus germ gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust and manure. It does not spread from person to person. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Even with early treatment, tetanus kills two out of every 10 people who get it.

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a serious disease of the nose, throat and skin. It causes sore throat, fever and chills. It can be complicated by breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria kills about one out of every 10 people who get the disease. It is most often passed to others through coughing and sneezing.

What is pertussis?

Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is a serious disease especially in children. Children who get this disease have spells of violent coughing. This cough can cause them to vomit or stop breathing for a short period of time. The cough can last for weeks and makes it hard for a child to eat, drink or even breathe. Pertussis can cause serious complications. Pneumonia can occur in more than two out of 10 children with pertussis. Pertussis can also cause brain damage, seizures and death. These problems happen most often in babies. Pertussis spreads very easily from an infected person to others through coughing or sneezing.

What is polio?

Polio is a serious disease that people can get from drinking water or eating food with the polio germ in it. It can also be spread from person to person. This disease can cause nerve damage and paralyze a person for life. It can paralyze muscles used for breathing, talking, eating and walking. It can also cause death.

Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine

Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (MMRV) vaccine - given at 4 to 6 years

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recently introduced a new measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine to the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario.

Immunization against measles, mumps and rubella is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted. Immunization against varicella is also required for children born in 2010 or later.

What is measles?

Measles can be a serious infection. It causes high fever, cough, rash, runny nose and watery eyes. Measles lasts for one to two weeks. Ear infections or pneumonia (lung infection) can happen in one out of every 10 children with measles. Measles can also be complicated by encephalitis, an infection of the brain, in about one out of every 1,000 children with measles. This may cause brain damage and developmental delays. Measles can also make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage or give birth prematurely.

Measles spreads from person to person very easily and quickly. People can get measles from an infected person coughing or sneezing around them or simply talking to them.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a viral infection that is characterized by fever, headache and swelling of the cheek, jaw and neck. It usually happens in children between five and nine years of age, but can also affect very young children and can result in more serious complications such as meningitis. Fortunately, mumps meningitis does not usually cause permanent damage. Recently, disease outbreaks have occurred more often among adolescents and young adults.

Mumps can cause very painful, swollen testicles in about one out of four teenage boys or adult men, and painful infection of the ovaries in one out of 20 women. Mumps infection during the first three months of pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage. Mumps can cause deafness in some people.

People can get mumps from an infected person coughing or sneezing around them or simply talking to them. It can also be spread through contact with the saliva of an infected person.

What is rubella (German measles)?

Rubella is usually a mild illness in children; up to half of the infections with rubella occur without a rash. Rubella may cause fever, sore throat, swollen glands in the neck and a rash on the face and neck. Temporary aches and pains and swelling of the joints are common in adolescents and adults, especially females, with rubella infection. Rubella can be followed by chronic arthritis (inflamed joints). It can also cause temporary blood clotting problems and encephalitis.

Rubella is very dangerous in pregnant women. If a woman gets rubella in the early part of a pregnancy, it is very likely that her baby will develop congenital rubella syndrome and be severely disabled or die.

Rubella spreads by contact with an infected person through coughing, sneezing or talking to them. It can also be spread by contact with the saliva of infected people.

What is varicella (chickenpox)?

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Children with chickenpox will feel sick with fatigue, mild headache, fever up to 39°C, chills and muscle or joint aches a day or two before a red rash begins. The raised itchy red blisters can be anywhere on the body. Blisters dry up and form scabs in four to five days.

Some children may experience complications or more serious problems from chickenpox such as:

  • bacterial skin infections and/or necrotizing fasciitis ("flesh-eating disease");
  • pneumonia (infection of the lungs);
  • encephalitis (infection of the brain); and
  • infection of other sites (e.g., blood).

The risk of these complications increases with age. Chickenpox spreads very easily from person to person. It is passed from an infected person to others through coughing, sneezing and even talking. You can also get chickenpox if you touch a blister or the liquid from a blister.

Birth defects may occur if the baby gets chickenpox from the mother before being born. The risk of these complications increases with age.

For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines

Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/ispa.aspx


4-6 years

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Grade 7 - Building a healthy foundation

Routine vaccines

Routine immunizations help strengthen your child’s immune system. To keep your kids strong for life, promote healthy habits and lead by example. Plan fun activities as a family: explore your neighbourhood on foot, go for a swim, or organize a game of street hockey. Your kids just might follow your example when they have kids of their own.

Meningococcal conjugate (Men-C-ACYW) vaccine

Meningococcal conjugate (Men-C-ACYW) vaccine - given in Grade 7

Immunization against meningococcal disease is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.

What is meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria known as Neisseria meningitidis (commonly known as meningococcus). Meningococcal disease is a very serious infection. It occurs in people who have either come in contact with a healthy person known as a “carrier” of meningococci bacteria or come in contact with a sick person with meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal disease occurs in two main forms. Meningococcal septicaemia, also called meningococcemia, occurs when the bacteria infect the bloodstream and cause blood poisoning. Meningococcal meningitis occurs when the bacteria infect the outer lining around the brain and spinal cord.

Hepatitis B (HB) vaccine

Hepatitis B (HP) vaccine - given in Grade 7

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that affects the liver and can cause permanent damage. It's the biggest cause of liver cancer worldwide. You need your liver to digest food and remove waste from your body.

There are around 150 cases of hepatitis B reported in Ontario each year. People with the disease often become tired, feverish, lose their appetite, and sometimes get yellow skin and eyes (called jaundice). However some people can get the virus and not have any symptoms. That means they can infect someone else without knowing. It is important therefore to get immunized.

For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines

Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/ispa.aspx


Grade 7

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Grade 8 girls - Building a healthy foundation

Routine vaccines

Beyond ensuring that her immunizations are up to date, you can help build a healthy future for your daughter by encouraging physical activity, balanced eating and a positive self-image. Strengthen your bond by talking often, listening when she talks, and showing that you respect her feelings.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine – given to Grade 8 females

The HPV vaccine is most effective when given before sexual activity begins. The provincial government is funding the HPV vaccine at no cost to all girls in Grade 8 through school clinics.

What is Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

HPV is a common virus with more than 100 types. Some types of HPV can lead to cancer of the cervix in women. Most HPV infections can be prevented with a vaccine. HPV is most commonly spread during sexual activity by skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

Read the Fact Sheet for Ontario's Grade 8 HPV immunization program.

For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines

Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/ispa.aspx


Grade 8

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14-16 years - Building a healthy foundation

Routine vaccines

As a parent, you can keep your kids physically healthy with routine healthcare, dental care and immunizations. But it’s also important to foster positive self-esteem and a healthy body image. Set a good example by making only positive comments about your own body shape or size. And teach your children to accept and celebrate the natural differences that make each of us unique.

Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine

Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine - given at 14 to 16 years

Tdap is a three-in-one vaccine. It protects people against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

Immunization against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.

What is tetanus?

Tetanus or lockjaw is a serious disease that can happen if dirt with the tetanus germ gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust and manure. It does not spread from person to person. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach, and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Even with early treatment, tetanus kills two out of every 10 people who get it.

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a serious disease of the nose, throat and skin. It causes sore throat, fever and chills. It can be complicated by breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria kills about one out of every 10 people who get the disease. It is most often passed to others through coughing and sneezing.

What is pertussis?

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a serious disease especially in children. Children who get this disease have spells of violent coughing. This cough can cause them to vomit or stop breathing for a short period of time. The cough can last for weeks and makes it hard for a child to eat, drink or even breathe. Pertussis can cause serious complications. Pneumonia can occur in more than two out of 10 children with pertussis. Pertussis can also cause brain damage, seizures and death. These problems happen most often in babies. Pertussis spreads very easily from an infected person to others through coughing or sneezing.

For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines

Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/ispa.aspx


14-16 years

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Adults - Building a healthy foundation

Routine vaccines

The flu vaccine strengthens your immunity against the flu, preventing you from getting sick and spreading the flu to others. Because of changes in the influenza (flu) strains, you need to receive the flu shot every year. The earlier in the flu season you get the shot, the more time you give your immune system to get stronger — and the greater your protection.

Seasonal flu vaccine

What is the flu?

Influenza, commonly known as "the flu," is a serious, acute respiratory illness that can lead to pneumonia. It is caused by a virus. People of any age can get the flu, and illness usually lasts two to seven days, sometimes longer in the elderly and in people with chronic diseases. Most people who get the flu are ill for only a few days. However, some people can become very ill, possibly developing complications and requiring hospitalization.

Tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine

Tetanus and diphtheria (Td) Vaccine - adults

Td is a two-in-one vaccine. It protects people against tetanus and diphtheria. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization strongly recommends that all Canadians receive a primary immunizing course of tetanus toxoid in childhood followed by routine booster doses every 10 years.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recently introduced one lifetime dose of the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine (Tdap) for adults to the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario. All adults 19 to 64 years of age, who have never received the Tdap vaccine in adolescence, are now eligible to receive one lifetime (publicly funded) dose of the vaccine. This lifetime dose replaces one of the Td booster doses given every 10 years.

Parents, grandparents or other adult household contacts of newborns, infants and young children as well as health care workers are considered a priority to receive the Tdap vaccine.

What is tetanus?

Tetanus or lockjaw is a serious disease that can happen if dirt with the tetanus germ gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust and manure. It does not spread from person to person. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach, and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Even with early treatment, tetanus kills two out of every 10 people who get it.

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a serious disease of the nose, throat and skin. It causes sore throat, fever and chills. It can be complicated by breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria kills about one out of every 10 people who get the disease. It is most often passed to others through coughing and sneezing.

Pneumococcal polysaccharide (Pneu-P-23) vaccine

Pneumococcal Polysaccharide (Pneu-P-23) Vaccine - adults 65 years of age and older

The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine protects adults against pneumococcal infections like pneumonia. Pneumococcal vaccine can prevent pneumonia and other infections caused by 23 types of the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. These 23 types account for approximately nine out of 10 cases of pneumococcal disease. The vaccine protects about 50 to 80 per cent of people against pneumococcal infection.

What causes pneumonia?

There are two main kinds of pneumonia, one caused by viruses and the other caused by bacteria. One type of bacteria is called Streptococcus pneumoniae (or pneumococcus). When these bacteria invade the lungs, they cause bacterial pneumonia. Most cases of bacterial pneumonia are caused by pneumococcus. These bacteria also attack different parts of the body. They can attack the blood cells and cause a serious infection called bacteraemia. They can also cause meningitis. Meningitis is a serious infection of the fluid and lining of the central nervous system. Pneumonia, bacteraemia or meningitis can cause death, particularly in the elderly and people with high-risk medical conditions. Healthy people often have pneumococcal bacteria in their mouths and upper respiratory systems. In most people, the bacteria will not cause serious illness. But in some people with high-risk medical conditions, the bacteria can cause disease when they get into the lungs or blood.

Pneumococcal pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis are serious. Also, the pneumococcus bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics such as penicillin and others.

For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines.


Adult