On this page:
Before immunization day
Complete, sign, and return the consent form to your child's school.
- Information and consent forms for grade 6 and 9 immunizations are sent home from school at the beginning of the school year.
- Read about the vaccines your child will get in the HealthLinkBC files included in the consent package. These files are also linked in the immunization schedule for school-age children & teens.
- Contact your child’s health care provider, community health nurse, or public health unit if you have questions.
- Complete, sign, and return the consent form to your child's school.
- In BC First Nations communities, where your child goes to school may change whether the vaccines are given at school or in your home community. The community health nurse at your health centre or nursing station has the same vaccines given at grade 6 and 9 school-based clinics.
Mature minor consent
It is recommended and encouraged that parents or guardians discuss consent for immunization with their children. However, the Infants Act states that children under the age of 19 can provide consent to a medical treatment on their own if the health care provider determines the child is capable of making this decision. This is called "mature minor consent" and includes providing consent for immunizations.
Although there is no set age for when a child can give mature minor consent for immunizations, in most circumstances, parents or guardians consent for children 12 years of age and younger to be immunized. However, there may be extenuating circumstances in which a child of this age may provide their own consent. Older children are given the opportunity to give mature minor consent.
Find more information on mature minor consent in the HealthLinkBC File: The Infants Act, Mature Minor Consent and Immunization.
Help your child prepare for immunization day.
- Parents play an important role in supporting their children through immunizations.
- Use these tips to help your school-age child or teen have a positive immunization experience.
On immunization day
Nurses give school-age vaccines at school clinics.
- Please encourage your child to ask the nurse any questions they have.
- Please encourage your child to use strategies to help them have a more positive immunization experience.
- Your child will get a record of their immunizations. Keep the record in a safe place.
Children who miss getting immunized at school, who don’t feel comfortable getting immunized at school, or who are homeschooled can contact their local health unit, doctor’s office or pharmacy to make an appointment to get immunized.
Staying at the school clinic for 15 minutes after immunization.
- This is important because after getting any vaccine, there is an extremely rare possibility of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
- Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue, or lips.
- The chance of true anaphylaxis is about 1 in 1 million vaccine doses . Should this reaction occur, your health care provider is prepared to treat it.
- If symptoms of anaphylaxis develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- Sometimes children experience mild side effects from vaccines, such as pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site or fever.
- These side effects are expected and usually last 1 - 2 days.
- Serious side effects are very rare.
- Read the HealthLinkBC files to learn about side effects your child may experience.
Reduce discomfort from side effects.
- Find tips for reducing discomfort from side effects in the Child Health Passport (pages 14 - 17) [PDF - 635KB].
If you are concerned about any side effects or worried about your child, call your doctor, health unit, or HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
Always report serious or unexpected reactions to your health care provider.