Vaccinations protect your child against serious diseases by stimulating the immune system to create antibodies against certain bacteria or viruses. Vaccinating your child will keep him or her safe.
Unvaccinated children are capable of spreading the disease to other children, even those who have been vaccinated since no vaccine is 100% protective.
Vaccines have minimized or eliminated outbreaks of certain diseases that were once lethal to large numbers of people, including measles and polio in the U.S and smallpox worldwide. But because the bacteria and viruses that cause diseases still exist, the public health gains can only be maintained by ensuring that vaccination rates remain high enough to prevent outbreaks.
Shots protect your child from more than 15 serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. Some of these diseases are listed below:
- Hepatitis B
- Tetanus (lockjaw)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Haemophilus Influenzaetype b (Hib)
- Influenza (flu)
- Rubella (German measles)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Hepatitis A
Maybe. If unimmunized kids are exposed to any of these diseases, there’s a good chance they’ll get the disease. What happens then depends on the child and the disease. At the least, some kids could get a mild rash and have to stay home from child care or school for a few days. On the other hand, some kids may become sick enough to be hospitalized, suffer a permanent disability, or die.
Those diseases are highly contagious and can be transmitted through body fluids, saliva particles in the air or even contaminated food and drinks.
While a few of these diseases have virtually disappeared because of vaccination, outbreaks of measles and whooping cough still occur in Canada. Even if some diseases do completely disappear in Canada, they are still common in other parts of the world and are just a plane ride away. If we stop vaccinating against these diseases, many more people will become infected.
No. Breastfeeding offers only temporary immunity against some minor infections like colds, but it is not an effective means of protecting a child from the specific diseases prevented by vaccines. Likewise, vitamins won’t protect against the bacteria and viruses that cause these serious diseases. Chiropractic remedies, naturopathy, and homeopathy are totally ineffective in preventing vaccine-preventable diseases.
No. Newborn babies often have immunity to some diseases because they have antibodies from their mothers (called maternal antibodies). However, maternal antibody immunity is only temporary and may not occur at all if the mother does not have immunity herself.
Yes. Despite the known benefits of breastfeeding, such as enhanced protection against some colds, ear infections, and diarrhea, breastfeeding does not prevent vaccine-preventable diseases. Unlike vaccines, breastfeeding does not stimulate the immunization of your baby.
Vaccines are among the safest medical products available, and scientists are working to make sure they are made even safer. Every vaccine undergoes extensive testing before being licensed, and vaccine safety continues to be monitored as long as a vaccine is in use.
Most side effects from vaccination are minor, such as soreness where the injection was given or a low-grade fever. These side effects do not last long and are treatable.
Serious reactions are very rare. The tiny risk of a serious reaction from a vaccination has to be weighed against the very real risk of getting a dangerous vaccine-preventable disease or suffering complications from it.
What if my baby has a cold or fever, or is taking antibiotics? Can he or she still get vaccinated?
Yes. Your child can still get vaccinated if he or she has a mild illness or is taking antibiotics
At least five visits are needed before age two to complete the vaccines calendar established by the province of Quebec. Most requires two or more doses of vaccine for the best protection.
For infants most vaccinations are given on a 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months old schedule. Doses cannot be given too close together or immunity doesn’t have time to build up. On the other hand, you don’t want to delay your child’s vaccinations and get behind schedule because during this time, your child remains unprotected against these serious diseases.
No. If your baby misses some doses, it’s not necessary to start over. We will continue from where he or she left off.
Your child’s immunization record is entered into both our electronic record-keeping system as well as the vaccination booklet of your child. Your child will benefit by having an accurate vaccination record throughout his or her life.
Here are the shots doctors recommend for most kids:
Birth Through 6 Years
- Hepatitis B (hep B) – This prevents an infection that causes liver failure. Children need three doses in their first 18 months of life (2, 4 and 18 months).
- Rotavirus (RV) – This protects your child from a stomach infection that causes life-threatening diarrhea. Babies get two doses (2 and 8 months).
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) – Five doses protect against all three diseases. They start at 2 months through age 6.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) – The vaccine protects against a bacteria that causes dangerous brain, lung, and windpipe infections. Kids get it three or four times (depending on the vaccine brand) starting at 2 months.
- Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) – It comes in three doses, starting at 2 months. The shot protects against deadly brain and blood infections.
- Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) – Four doses protect against polio. They start at 2 months.
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) – Two doses guard against all three of these illnesses. Your child gets one at 12 months and another at 18 months.
- Hepatitis A (hep A) – The hepatitis A virus can cause liver failure. The vaccine against hepatitis A is given in grade 4.
- Varicella (chickenpox) – Kids need two doses, spaced out about 4-5 years.
- Influenza (flu) – It is recommended that everyone age 6 months of age and older get this vaccine every year. Kids under age 9 may need more than one dose.
7 Through 18 Years Old
- Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) – This is a follow-up shot to the DTaP vaccine kids get when they’re younger. They need it because the protection from DTaP fades over time.
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) – This protects against meningitis, a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Kids need their first dose at age 11 or 12 and another at age 16.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)– This common virus is linked to cervical cancer and genital warts. Children need three doses starting at age 11 or 12.
- Influenza (Flu) – Recommended every year.
Some vaccines need more than one dose to help the immune system build up enough tools to protect the body. It’s important to respect the vaccine calendar establish by the provincial health board direction. If you don’t, your child isn’t getting full protection.
Other vaccines wear off over time. “Booster” shots may be needed to optimize your immunity on a long-term basis.
No, the cost of vaccines for the majority of them are covered by Medicare. You will only have to pay for the administration of the vaccines by the nurses.
If you start the vaccination of your child at our clinic from the beginning, there is no fee charge for an evaluation. However, if you started the vaccination of your child somewhere else or if you have skipped several vaccines, then came to us in order for us to continue the immunization of your child, there will be a fee charged to you, for an evaluation of your kid’s immunization status. Once that is completed, you will not be charged for an evaluation during the subsequent visits of your child for his vaccines.