Immunization or vaccination protects people from disease by introducing a fluid into the body that triggers an antibody response as if you had been exposed to a disease naturally. The vaccine contains the same antigens or parts of antigens that cause the disease, but the antigens in vaccines are either killed or greatly weakened. Immunization is one of the most important and cost-effective public health innovations. In Canada, immunization has saved more lives than any other health intervention, and has contributed to the reduction in morbidity and mortality in adults, children and other vulnerable populations.
Getting your child vaccinated is the best way to protect their health. By immunizing your child on time, you are preventing illness, and protecting from serious disease, usually for their lifetime. Sometimes they need another ‘booster’ vaccination to keep the protection long-lasting. Children are immunized early in life because they are vulnerable to diseases and the consequences can be very serious. The vaccination schedule is designed to protect your child before they are exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases.
Typically, your child will be vaccinated:
- at two months
- at four months
- at six months
- at twelve months
- at fifteen months
- at eighteen months
Note: Additional vaccinations are needed for school age children.
At any age, vaccination provides the longest-lasting, most effective protection against disease. Adults require booster shots to maintain immunity (with certain vaccines). Adults who were not adequately immunized as children may be at risk of infection from other vaccine-preventable diseases. They can also infect others. For example, adults who contract measles, mumps or pertussis (whooping cough) can infect infants who may not yet be fully immunized.
Are You Up To Date? Check following adult immunization resources:
Influenza vaccines, also known as flu shots, are vaccines which help protect against the seasonal flu. A new version of the vaccine is developed twice a year as the influenza virus rapidly changes. While their effectiveness varies from year to year, most provide good to high protection against influenza. Please contact our Family Health Team office if you have received the flu shot elsewhere so we can update our records. If you have any questions about these tests or immunizations, please contact us.