Immunization helps protect all of us from serious diseases.
Immunization protects people from serious contagious diseases that can be deadly. This is usually done with vaccines, which stimulate your body's natural immune system against specific diseases. In the past, many Canadians died from diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio. Today, these diseases are completely preventable. In fact, during the past 50 years, vaccines have saved more Canadian lives than any other medical intervention.
Getting vaccinated protects your whole community. It's important to follow the immunization advice from BC's public health experts.
Some vaccines are given only once in childhood to protect people throughout their life. Others require additional "booster" shots. Some are only necessary when you travel to specific parts of the world. For more information, talk to your health care provider or contact your local public health unit.
Specific information is also available according to your age and stage of life.
If you are pregnant, you should talk to your health care provider about your immunization status.
There is a recommended schedule for immunizing your baby. This will protect against serious infectious diseases. Your baby should be immunized starting at two months old, then at four months, six months, 12 months and 18 months.
Your child will need different vaccinations along the way to stay up-to-date with BC's recommended immunization schedule. There are some excellent web resources to help you understand what your child needs at different ages and to track their immunizations.
You may not have the recommended immunizations for BC if you missed some vaccinations growing up, or if you immigrated to Canada as an adult. Here are some resources to help you find out what is recommended, including immunization advice for travelling to places where other infectious diseases are common.
Older adults may be more vulnerable to specific infectious diseases such as pneumonia, influenza and shingles. If you are an older adult or if you care for a senior, talk to your primary health care provider about vaccinations that may be recommended.