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Immunization

Vaccination is the best way to keep you safe from many serious and potentially deadly diseases.

Before vaccines became available, many people died or became disabled as a result of infections that are now preventable.

While vaccines protect people who have been vaccinated, they can also help protect those who are not vaccinated, babies who are too young to receive vaccines, people fighting illnesses such as cancer, and the elderly. 

When a lot of people get vaccinated, it can help protect a community from the spread of infectious diseases. This is known as "herd immunity."

Public Health nurses:

  • Administer vaccines for free to those eligible based on the province's criteria  and schedule;
  • Give advice on immunization and vaccines;
  • Monitor immunization requirements for children in licensed daycares and entering school;
  • Facilitate other vaccinators' access to tools and resources;
  • Record and report adverse events following immunization (AEFI).

Immunization Schedule

Public Health offers the following immunization services:

Public Health provides information on the following immunization-related topics:

Infants and children

Immunization1

Getting your child immunized, and immunized on time, is one of the most important ways to keep them healthy. 

Thanks to immunization, childhood diseases have become rare and some have almost disappeared. If we neglect immunization, these diseases could reappear and become a threat to children and adults alike.

Public Health nurses provide immunization to infants, children and adolescents.

How to make an appointment

  • Call your local Public Health office.
  • Call your physician or nurse practitioner.
  • Call another health care provider that offers vaccines.

What can I expect at my child's appointment?

Immunizations can make you and your child anxious. Learn how to make your child's immunization experience a positive one.

You will be asked to wait for 15 minutes after your immunizations as there is a rare possibility of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The chance of this reaction occurring is less than one in a million.

Can someone other than myself bring my child to his or her immunization appointment?

If you are having your child immunized at your local Public Health office, someone other than you may take your child for his or her immunizations provided you, parent or guardian, has given the initial consent for the infant series of vaccines. 

The adult taking your child will need to be able to answer questions related to your child's health, such as medical conditions and allergies.

Plan to be available by phone during your child's appointment in case the public health nurse has questions that the accompanying adult cannot answer.

What can I expect after my child is immunized?

Most children are fine after vaccination. Your child may have no reaction at all to the vaccine. In some cases, your child may:

  • be fussy;
  • be sleepier than usual;
  • have a low fever; or
  • have a sore, swollen, or red spot where the needle went in.

These reactions are normal and usually last between 1 to 2 days.

If you or your child experience side effects, do the following:

  • Hold and cuddle your child.
  • Apply a clean, cool, wet cloth to sore area.
  • Let your child move around as usual - movement helps the soreness go away.
  • A lump may form under the skin and could last for 1 to 4 weeks
  • You can give your child medicine to help with the pain or lower the fever. Ask your health care provider what medicine is best. 

Note:  Never give aspirin (ASA) to children under 18 years of age.

If you are concerned about a reaction after your immunizations, contact your doctor, pharmacist or Public Health nurse.

If your child has any serious reactions within 4 weeks of being immunized, it is important to inform your immunization provider.

Resources

Caring for Your Child Before and After Immunization

A Parent's Guide to Vaccination

Pain management during vaccination

Whooping cough

Measles

Vaccine Fact Sheets

Children in daycare

Immunization2

Getting your child immunized, and immunized on time, is one of the most important ways to keep them healthy. 

Vaccines protect infants and preschoolers from the risks of complications from diseases that can be prevented by immunization.

According to the Public Health Act, infants and preschool children in licensed daycares in New Brunswick must demonstrate proof of immunization against vaccine preventable diseases.

Each year, Public Health nurses assess the immunization record of children in licensed daycares to:

  • Ensure that daycares have proof of immunization for each child;
  • Give parents/legal guardians an opportunity to bring their child's immunizations up to date.

The Act allows parents or legal guardians to refuse immunization for medical reasons or objections. The exemption form is available through the daycare or the provincial Public Health website.

Depending on the child's age and the Routine Immunization Schedule (New Brunswick), the record should show that the child has been immunized against:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzaetype B vaccine;
  • Pneumococcal vaccine.
  • Measles , mumps, rubella, varicella (chicken pox) vaccine
  • Meningococcal vaccine

Resources

Public Health Act

Required Immunization for Children Attending Daycare

Immunization Exemption Form for Daycare

Children entering school

Immunization3

Getting your child immunized, and immunized on time, is one of the most important ways to keep them healthy. To be better protected, your child should receive a preschool booster at 4 years of age.

Infectious diseases can spread among children and adolescents at school who are not vaccinated. 

Immunization minimizes the risk that an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease will occur and ensures that students are protected in the event that an outbreak does occur.

You can help protect your children by getting them vaccinated on time and keeping their shots up-to-date.

According to the Public Health Act, children entering school for the first time in New Brunswick must demonstrate proof of immunization against vaccine preventable diseases.

Each year, Public Health nurses assess the immunization record of children entering schools for the first time to:

  • Ensure that schools have proof of immunization for each student.
  • Give parents/legal guardians an opportunity to bring their child's immunizations up to date.

The Act allows parents or legal guardians to refuse immunization for medical reasons or objections. The exemption form is available at the schools or on the government website.

Children must have received the adequate number of doses to ensure optimal protection. Upon school registration, kindergarten children must show proof of immunization (record):

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio vaccine (includes the  preschool booster at 4 years of age)
  • Measles , mumps, rubella vaccine
  • Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine
  • Meningococcal vaccine

Resources

Education Act

Public Health Act

Immunization Exemption Form for School Entry

Children and adolescents in school

Immunization4

As children get older, the protection from infant immunizations can wear off. Children can also be at risk of new diseases as they enter their pre-teen and teen years.

Immunization in New Brunswick schools:

  • Promotes the beneficial effects of immunization to children, adolescents and parents;
  • Provides immunizations based on the Routine Immunization Schedule (New Brunswick).

Public Health nurses immunize children and adolescents in schools against vaccine preventable diseases.

Consent is required from parents or legal guardians to immunize children under 16. Adolescents 16 and older can decide for themselves whether they want to be vaccinated. They are given all the information they need to make an informed decision.

Routine school-age immunizations are free.

Information and consent forms for Grade 7 and Grade 9 will be sent home either at the beginning of the school year or a few months before the school clinic. Please complete andsign the consent form whether you accept or refuse that your child be vaccinated and return it to your child's school.

It is recommended and encouraged that parents/guardians discuss consent for immunization with their children. 

Grade 7 immunizations

The following vaccines are routinely offered to all students in Grade 7:

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (2 doses)

Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) vaccine (1 dose)

Grade 9 immunizations

The following vaccines are routinely offered to all students in Grade 9:

Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine: Please check your child's immunization record to see how many doses of the varicella vaccine he or she has received.

  • If your child has not received any dose of the vaccine, he or she must receive two doses. Your child will receive the first dose at school. Please contact your local Public Health office in order to schedule the second dose.
  • If your child has received one dose of the vaccine, he or she will need a second dose.  Please complete the consent form, so that they may receive it during the school clinic
  • If your child has received 2 doses of the chickenpox vaccine, he or she does not need the vaccine.
  • If your child had chickenpox after one year of age and it was confirmed by a blood test, he or she does not need the vaccine.

Meningococcal Quadrivalent Vaccine (A,C,Y,W-135) (1 dose)

Parents of a school-aged child who is not enrolled in a public school can contact their local Public Health office for more information.

What can I expect after my child is immunized?

Common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, mild headache, fever and body aches.

Please note: As is the case with any vaccine, there is a small risk that a serious allergic reaction can occur. Therefore, students are asked to remain on site for at least 15 minutes after the vaccine is given so that possible immediate reactions can be monitored and treated.

How to treat fever and pain:

  • A cold compress on the injection site may reduce discomfort.
  • You may give your child acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil®).
  • Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin®) should NOT be given to children younger than 18 due to its link to Reye's syndrome.

If you are concerned about a reaction after your immunizations, contact your doctor, pharmacist or public health nurse.

If your child has any serious reactions within 4 weeks of being immunized, it is important to inform Public Health.

Resources

Immunization FAQs - Government of New Brunswick

Influenza vaccine

Immunization5

The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza is to be vaccinated every year. People who are immunized protect themselves and others.

The influenza vaccine is free for:

  • Those at high risk for influenza complications;
  • Those who live with these persons.

Public Health nurses administer the influenza vaccine:

  • To healthy infants/children aged 6 months to 59 months (before age 5).

To make an appointment:

Resources

Free Influenza Vaccine (eligible groups)

Influenza (vaccine and seasonal influenza)

Adults

Immunization9

Immunization is safe and effective. Vaccines help people to protect themselves and their children against the risks of complications from illnesses that are preventable by immunization.

New Brunswick residents have access to free vaccines in accordance with the Routine Immunization Schedule through their family physician, nurse practioner or pharmacist

For information on an immunization record, contact the organization or health professional that administered the vaccine directly.

Travellers

Immunization6

There is no single schedule of immunizations for travellers. Each schedule must be personalized based on:

  • Vaccines previously received;
  • Countries being visited;
  • Nature and length of the trip;
  • Time remaining before departure.

For consultation and vaccination, you may contact your local travel health clinic.

For information on an immunization record, contact the organization or health professional that administered the vaccine directly.

Resources

Travel Vaccines

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Vaccinators

Immunization7

Competency in immunization practice leads to higher vaccine coverage rates, which in turn will maintain the highest possible degree of community protection against vaccine preventable diseases.

The New Brunswick Immunization Program Guide:

  • Provides direction to all health care practitioners who provide publicly funded vaccines;
  • Outlines legislation, policies and standards necessary in the provision of safe, effective and competent immunization practice;
  • Gives direction to vaccinators with respect to provincial practices;
  • Is intended to be used in conjunction with the Canadian Immunization Guide.

The New Brunswick Immunization Program Guide is updated periodically to reflect changes in evidence and resources.

For copies of the blank Immunization records (infants and children or adult) please contact the Central Serum Depot:

Serum.depot@gnb.ca

506-648-6474 (telephone)

506-648-6477 (fax)

All other forms related to immunization or vaccines can  be found here

Immunization records

Immunization8

A person without a written immunization record, or proof of having had disease, is considered unimmunized and unprotected.  

Where can I get my immunization records?

There is no central immunization registry in N.B. When you get an immunization in N.B., a paper record is provided. If you no longer have a copy of your immunization record, you can request a copy of your record in the following ways:

If your immunizations were provided by Public Health, contact your local Public Health office.

If your immunizations were provided by another health care provider, contact that provider.

If you have moved to N.B. from out of province or country and do not have a copy of your immunization records, try to get your immunization records sent to you.

Getting your immunization records takes a few steps but it is a worthwhile process.

Are your immunization records up-to-date?

To find out if your immunization records are up-to-date:

What do I do if my infant, child or adolescent's immunization record is not up-to-date?

If you have no immunization records or your records show that there are missing vaccines, you can call and ask to speak to a public health nurse to talk about what vaccines are recommended. You will be asked to provide the immunization records that you have or may obtain.  The nurse will review and schedule an appointment.

Keep your records in a safe place.

In New Brunswick, you are required to show immunization records for daycare and school. 

You may also be required to show immunization records for work, summer camps, college, university or to travel.

ImmunizationRecord - Child

 Immunization Record - Children

ImmunizationRecord - Adult

Immunization Record - Adults