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Immunizations for children new to BC

Date last reviewed: 
Tuesday, Mar 12, 2024
If you've just moved here, it's important to ensure your child has received all the vaccines recommended for children in BC. These vaccines may differ from those recommended in your home country or province.

Take your child's immunization record to your local health unit to be checked.

It’s important to take your child's immunization record (a list of the vaccines they have received) to your local health unit, community health centre, or nursing station to be checked. A nurse will check the record, tell you if your child is missing any recommended vaccines, and give missing routine vaccines for free. If your records are in a different language, the nurse can help translate them.
A Brown woman smiling while holding a school-aged girl.

What if I don’t have records of my child's immunizations?

Try contacting your doctor's office or clinic in your home country or province and ask that they send your child's records to you. Without an immunization record (or proof of immunity to disease), a person is considered unimmunized and unprotected and should generally be vaccinated (or revaccinated) to ensure protection. It is safe to repeat vaccines.

Where can my child get immunized?

Your child can get immunized at your local health unit, community health centre, or nursing station. Some doctors, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists also give vaccines. Pharmacists only immunize children 4 and older (except for the nasal spray influenza (flu) vaccine that they can give to children 2 years and older).

Are vaccines free in BC?

Vaccines that are part of the recommended schedule for children in BC are free. If you don’t have health insurance under BC’s Medical Service Plan (MSP), you may be charged a fee to have a vaccine given at a doctor’s office or pharmacy. You will not be charged this fee at your local health unit, community health centre, or nursing station. 

Keep a record of all the vaccines your child receives.

It’s important to keep your child’s vaccine records in a safe place. You may be asked to provide immunization records when registering for daycare, school, summer camps, university or college, or for specific jobs and travel. 

Do you have travel plans?

If you will be travelling back to your home country or anywhere outside of Canada, it’s important to contact a travel clinic at least 6 weeks before you travel. They will give advice on any other vaccines your family may need. 




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