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Immunization for infants and young children

Immunizations are your child's best protection now and in the future. Childhood vaccines work quickly to protect against very infectious diseases. When you immunize your child, you protect them against meningitis, pneumonia, paralysis, deafness, seizures, brain damage, cancer or even death.

Vaccines for infants and young children

This schedule lists all vaccines that are provided free to children in British Columbia between ages 0 and 6.View the complete list of vaccines recommended for infants and young children.

2023 Vancouver Coastal Health Immunization Coverage Survey 

VCH is currently engaged in an immunization coverage survey to determine the immunization rates of two-year old children in our region. 

Parents and guardians of children born in 2020 and currently living in the VCH region, whose names were drawn at random, have been invited to participate by letter. Participation in this brief, 10-minute survey is voluntary.

If you are a parent or guardian who received a letter, we appreciate your help. The survey will not only allow us to determine up-to-date immunization rates for this age group, but as your child was born during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will also help us understand if there were any impacts from the pandemic on routine childhood immunizations. This information can help us design public health programs and services to ensure that all young children from our communities are provided with the best access to immunization services.  

For more information about the survey, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Kindergarten immunization clinics

All children, starting at age four, should get two vaccines to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox. They should get these shots before they begin kindergarten.

An immunization visit is a great way to catch up on other shots that might have been missed as part of a child’s infant vaccination series. While most of these infections are now rare in British Columbia because of routine childhood immunization programs, these infections are severe and can sometimes be fatal. Vaccines are safe: getting the vaccine is much safer than getting the disease.

VCH offers free immunization for children, starting at age four, who enter kindergarten in the fall. 

Find an immunization clinic near you.

If your child doesn't get all the routine vaccines

If someone at school has a vaccine-preventable infectious disease, unprotected children may be asked to stay home until it is safe to return. They may miss days or even weeks of school and school activities.