Immunization and Vaccines
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Immunization and Vaccines

Vaccines are among the safest and most cost effective tools available to protect our communities and our families from devastating illness. Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s natural response to “bad” germs with significantly less risk. It is very important to have your child immunized according to the recommended schedule.

The benefits of immunizing your baby/child against disease far outweighs any remote risk posed from a vaccine.  It is essential that you keep your baby's shots up to date to protect them and those around them against disease.  Get all shots on time!

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immunization saves three million lives each year worldwide, but almost three million more lives worldwide are lost from diseases that are preventable with existing vaccines.

Some specific vaccine preventable diseases include:

Non-Publicly Funded Vaccines

You are already protecting yourself and your family by getting regular immunizations that guard against many diseases.  In addition to the free routine vaccination program in BC, there are other immunizations available for a charge that may benefit you or your family depending on age, health status, and other risk factors.  Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or public health nurse for more information or visit ImmunizeBC to learn more about recommended child and adult immunizations.

Some Recommended
Non-Publicly Funded Vaccines

Vaccine Coverage

  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine 
    • Gardasil®(HPV4 – types 6,11,16,18)
    • CervarixTM (HPV 2 – types 16,18)
  • Both HPV vaccines are recommended for females over 9 years of age but are only publicly-funded for females between 9-26 years of age.
  • Gardasil® is also recommended for males over the age of 9 but is not currently publicly-funded.
  • Multicomponent Meningococcal serogroup B (4CMenB) vaccine
    • Bexsero®
  • The vaccine that protects against Meningococcal B strains is provided at a cost to those who are greater than 2 months of age and have certain risk factors or who are without contraindications to the vaccine and wish to be immunized.
  • Quadrivalent Conjugate Meningococcal Vaccines (serogroups A, C, Y, W and W-135)
    • NimenrixTM
    • Menactra®
    • MenveoTM
  • Meningococcal vaccines that protect against A,C,Y and W-135 are provided free only to those who have certain risk factors or medical conditions.  
  • These vaccines are recommended but not provided free for adolescents, travellers, and research/laboratory personnel.
  • Herpes Zoster (shingles) vaccine (HZV)
    • Zostavax®
  • The shingles vaccine is recommended but not provided free for persons 60 years and older

When to Vaccinate: Schedules

Why Vaccinate? The Benefits of Vaccination

Childhood Immunizations: HealthLink BC Files Information

School Aged Immunizations - Visit our Immunizations in Schools page.

Adult Immunizations - For travel health and immunizations, visit our Travel Health page for more information.

Are you and your family up to date? All children and adults should be vaccinated. For more information, contact your local health unit or your family physician.