FAQ

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Why do vaccine schedules change?
Why do children get vaccines starting at such a young age?
Why do most vaccines require more than one dose?
If my child missed getting a vaccine, do they need to start the series over again?
I can't remember if my child got a vaccine and have no record. Is it safe to repeat vaccines?
I didn't immunize my child but have changed my mind. Is it too late to catch up?
Where can my infant or young child get vaccinated?
My child is starting kindergarten. Where can they get their kindergarten vaccines?
Where do school-age children and teens get vaccines?
My child is homeschooled. Where can they get vaccinated?
My child is afraid of needles. Are there options for them to get vaccinated other than at school?
Where can adults get vaccinated?
Do I need an appointment at a pharmacy to get vaccinated, or can I just walk in?
Where can I get the influenza (flu) vaccine?
Where can I get the ShingrixⓇ vaccine?
Where can I get the HPV vaccine? I am not eligible for the free one.
We have just moved here and I don’t have MSP coverage or a care card for my children. Is there somewhere they can get vaccinated for free?
Where can I or my family get travel vaccines?
Can I or my child still get vaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Do I need a prescription for vaccines?
My child is being homeschooled during the COVID-19 pandemic. How can they receive their school-age immunizations?
Are all influenza (flu) clinics able to vaccinate young children or do I need to make an appointment with my family doctor?
What do I need to bring other than my child's care card when getting immunized?
My baby had chickenpox infection during their first year of life. Do they still need the vaccine?
How long do I need to wait to get pregnant after receiving the HPV vaccine? What if I got the HPV vaccine before I knew I was already pregnant?
When I got the MMR vaccine I was told to wait four weeks after vaccination before getting pregnant. I became pregnant within 4 weeks of getting the MMR vaccine. Should I be worried?
Our family just moved to BC. We do not have my child’s BC Services Card (CareCard) or MSP coverage yet. Can my child still get vaccines for free?
We are moving to BC from our home country. Where can we get vaccines in BC? How do we make appointments? How much do vaccines cost in BC?
Are human fetal cells used to make vaccines?
I am a First Nations Elder over 65 years of age. How can I get the shingles vaccine?
I have a weak immune system, is it safe for me to get the shingles vaccine?
I have had shingles disease. Do I still need to get the vaccine? How long should I wait between having shingles disease and getting the vaccine?
What are common side effects after the shingles vaccine and how long do they last? How do I report a serious or unexpected vaccine reaction?
At what age should you get the shingles vaccine? What if I am under 50 years of age and already had shingles disease?
How long should you wait between the shingles vaccine and other vaccines, such as the influenza (flu) vaccine?
I had shingles disease and now have post-herpetic neuralgia. Should I get the shingles vaccine?
It's been more than six months since my first dose of Shingrix®. Is it too late to get the second shot? Do I have to restart my vaccine series?
What are the ingredients in the Shingles vaccines? Are there any blood fractions, cells, or anything to do with blood products used in the shingles vaccine?
I have shingles and want to visit my friends and family. Can I spread shingles or chickenpox to other people? What if my grandchildren haven't had chickenpox disease or their chickenpox vaccinations?
If I had a Zostavax® II vaccine, would I need the Shingrix® vaccine? Where do I find a clinic?
Do I need a doctor's note to get the shingles vaccine in BC? How much does the vaccine cost? Why aren't shingles vaccines free?
If an adult has not had chickenpox disease or vaccination, should they get the shingles vaccine or the chickenpox vaccine?
If I had the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine, can I still get shingles later in life?
Where can I find a list of the ingredients in each vaccine?
What ingredients are in vaccines?
Can the ingredients in vaccines cause harm?
Do vaccines contain mercury?
Do vaccines contain aluminum?
My child is allergic to a vaccine ingredient. What should I do? Can they still get the vaccine?
What is a vaccination record?
I am an international student. Do I qualify for publicly funded (free) vaccines in the BC immunization schedule? Do I need to have MSP to qualify?
I am an international student, can I get vaccines if I don’t have my immunization records? Can I get the annual influenza vaccine (flu shot) and the HPV vaccine for free?
I am moving to Canada with a study or work permit. Do I have to pay for vaccines?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine (general)

Are the COVID-19 vaccine clinics inclusive and accessible (free of barriers, can be used independently by all people)? Is transportation available to the clinics? Can someone give me the COVID-19 vaccine in my home?
I had COVID-19. Do I need to get vaccinated?
I was immunized outside of BC or Canada. What should I do?

COVID-19 vaccine schedules & timing (general)

Should I still get COVID-19 vaccines after COVID-19 illness and treatment ?
Can the COVID-19 vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccines?
Can you still get TB screening done (TB skin test or IGRA) before or after a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccine booster doses and third doses (general)

When will the general public be able to get a second COVID-19 booster dose?
Who should get a COVID-19 booster dose?
Who should get a second booster of COVID-19 vaccine?
I just had COVID-19. Do I still need a booster dose?
Can I get my COVID-19 booster dose early?
What is the difference between a third dose and a booster dose?

COVID-19 vaccination records (general)

How can I get a record of my COVID-19 vaccinations?

Safety of COVID-19 vaccines (general)

I am recovering from an illness (like COVID-19, shingles or chickenpox). Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Is it safe to drink alcohol before or after getting the vaccine?
How were COVID-19 vaccines developed and approved so quickly? How do we know they are safe?
Are the spike proteins generated by the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines harmful?
Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am immunocompromised from treatment or illness? What if I have an autoimmune disease?
Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I use marijuana/cannabis? Does it matter if it is edibles, smoked, etc.?
Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I use substances or struggle with addiction?
Is it safe to get a tattoo, or microblading, or botox before or after COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccine side effects (general)

How do I report a serious reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine?
Are there long-term side effects caused by mRNA COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccine ingredients (general)

Are there any animal products (including pork) in the mRNA or viral vector vaccines COVID-19 vaccines?
Are there blood products in any of the COVID-19 vaccines?
Where can I find a list of the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use in Canada?
Do COVID-19 vaccines contain fetal cells? Were abortions performed to make the vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccines and allergies (general)

I have an allergy to one of the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine. What should I do?
I had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after my mRNA vaccine. Can I get another dose?

COVID-19 vaccination & pregnancy & breastfeeding (general)

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for people who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding?
Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect menstruation?
Why are pregnant people able to get their booster as early as 8 weeks after getting their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine?
Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?
If I am vaccinated and breastfeeding, do I pass on COVID-19 immunity to my baby?

COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (general)

Are COVID-19 vaccines effective against variants like Omicron?
How long does protection from COVID-19 vaccine last?

Other questions about COVID-19 vaccines (general)

Does COVID-19 vaccination change the results of a viral test for COVID-19 infection?
Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory?
Can I get an antibody test to find out what level of protection I have from my COVID-19 vaccination?
How do I find out if a health professional (doctor, nurse, dentist, physiotherapist, chiropractor, etc.,) is vaccinated against COVID-19?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine (youth)

What vaccines do youth 12 and over get?
My child or teen had COVID-19. Do they still need the vaccine? Would they not be immune and have better protection from natural infection?
How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine do youth 12 to 17 years of age need?
Does a youth who has had a COVID-19 infection still need the vaccine?
How can I help support a youth who is afraid of needles?

Risks of COVID-19 infection and benefits of vaccination (youth)

Why should my child or teen get the COVID-19 vaccine when it typically causes mild illness in children and youth and is less effective against Omicron?
I heard that children and teens don’t transmit the COVID-19 virus to others. So how does my child or teen getting vaccinated help protect others?
What are the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination in youth?
What are the risks of COVID-19 infection in youth?

COVID-19 vaccine safety (youth)

What are the side effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in youth?
Are the spike proteins generated by the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines harmful?
Are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines safe for youth?
Can mRNA vaccines cause inflammation of the heart?
Are there long-term side effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in youth?
Can mRNA COVID-19 vaccines alter a person’s DNA?

COVID-19 vaccine & reproductive health (youth)

Can COVID-19 vaccines affect menstruation?
Can COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility?

Informed consent and COVID-19 vaccination (youth)

Do youth need a signed consent form to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Can youth provide their own consent for the COVID-19 vaccine?
Who can give consent for a child or youth to get their COVID-19 vaccine?

Other questions about COVID-19 vaccines (youth)

Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for youth?
What does the World Health Organization (WHO) say about children and youth getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine (children)

What COVID-19 vaccine will children aged 5 to 11 get?
How can I help support a child who is afraid of needles?
My child had COVID-19. Do they still need the vaccine?
Can children get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccinations?
How can I register my child to get vaccinated?
Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for children?
How can I explain how the COVID-19 vaccination works to my children?

COVID-19 vaccine dose & schedule (children)

My child got their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at 11 (the pediatric vaccine) and turned 12 before their second dose was due. What vaccine should they get?
Will children aged 5 to 11 get the same dose as youth and adults?
Why is the time between dose one and two for 5- to 11-year-olds eight weeks, not the 21 days used in the clinical trials?
How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will children aged 5 to 11 get?
Should children who weigh more get a bigger dose?

Risks of COVID-19 infection & benefits of vaccination (children)

What are the risks of COVID-19 infection in children aged 5 to 11? Isn’t it usually a mild disease in children?
What are the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination in children?
Why should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine when it typically causes mild illness in children and is less effective against Omicron?
I heard that children and teens don’t transmit the COVID-19 virus to others. So how does my child or teen getting vaccinated help protect others?

COVID-19 vaccine safety (children)

Are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines safe for children 5 to 11 years of age?
What are the side effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in children aged 5 to 11?
Can mRNA vaccines cause myocarditis and pericarditis?
I heard that the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine has caused serious side effects and death in young children. Is this true?
Can the spike proteins generated by the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines cause harm?
Are there long-term side effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in children?
Can mRNA COVID-19 vaccines alter a person’s DNA?

COVID-19 vaccine & reproductive health (children)

Can COVID-19 vaccines affect menstruation?
Can COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility?

Informed consent and COVID-19 vaccination (children)

Do children need a signed consent form to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Who can give consent for a child to get their COVID-19 vaccine?

Other questions about COVID-19 vaccines (children)

What does the World Health Organization (WHO) say about children getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Getting the influenza vaccine

Why should I get the influenza vaccine?
Is the influenza vaccine free?
When are influenza vaccines available in BC?
Where can I get an influenza vaccine?
When is the best time to get the influenza vaccine?
Why do I need an influenza vaccine every year?
Is there a mobile clinic that can come to our work location to vaccinate our employees?
Is there a way to get in-home influenza vaccines for those who are housebound?
Can I get the influenza vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, like the pneumococcal or shingles vaccine?
Can I get the influenza vaccine the same day as a TB skin test?
Who should get the influenza vaccine?

Influenza vaccine & people 65+

Where can I purchase the high-dose influenza vaccine? How much does Fluzone® cost?
I received a regular influenza vaccine already this season. Can I now get a high-dose influenza vaccine as well?
Who in BC can receive the Fluzone® High-Dose vaccine for free?

Influenza vaccine & children

Where can my child get the nasal spray (FluMist®) vaccine?
Where do I get the numbing cream for my child to use before they get the vaccine?
Why do children under 9 receiving the influenza vaccine for the first time need two doses?
My child had their first dose of influenza vaccine last month and needs their second dose. Do both vaccines have to be the same product?

Influenza vaccine safety

Are influenza vaccines safe for pregnant people?
I am receiving treatment for cancer. Can I get the influenza vaccine?
I am immunosuppressed due to medication I am taking. Can I get the influenza vaccine?
Can I get an influenza vaccine while I am breastfeeding? Is it safe for my baby? What about other vaccines?
Is the influenza vaccine safe during pregnancy? Also, is it safe for pregnant people to receive vaccines with thimerosal?

Influenza vaccine & side effects

What are the side effects of the influenza vaccine?
How do I report an unexpected side effect?

Influenza vaccine ingredients & allergies

Can I get an influenza vaccine if I am allergic to eggs?
What virus strains do the 2021/22 influenza vaccines protect against?

Influenza vaccine effectiveness

How effective are influenza vaccines?
Do we know how effective the 2021/22 influenza vaccine will be?

Other questions about influenza vaccination

How do influenza vaccines work?
Why is it more important this year than ever to get vaccinated against influenza?
How can I tell if I have influenza or if I have COVID-19?
Can influenza vaccines give me influenza?
What are influenza vaccines?

Is it safe to get vaccinated if?

Is it safe for I or my child to get vaccinated when we are sick? Should we stay home from the vaccination appointment?
I am immunocompromised. Is it safe for me to get vaccinated?
I have a chronic disease. Is it safe for me to get vaccinated?
Is it safe to repeat vaccines? I can’t find my vaccination record.

Do vaccines cause that?

Do vaccines cause chronic illness or other long-term health problems?
Can vaccines cause autism?
Can vaccines cause SIDS?
Do vaccines cause asthma and allergic diseases?
Do vaccines cause autoimmune diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS)?
Can getting multiple vaccines at the same time overwhelm my baby's immune system?
Can a vaccine give me or my child the disease it’s supposed to prevent?

Vaccine side effects & reactions

How do I report an adverse event (a serious or unexpected side effect or medical event) following vaccination?
Can vaccines cause side effects?
Where can I find information on vaccine side effects?
What should I do if I or my child have an unexpected or serious reaction to a vaccine?
Where can I report an adverse event (unexpected or serious vaccine reaction)?
If someone has a bad reaction to a previous dose of a vaccine, can they be vaccinated again?

Other questions about vaccine safety

I want to separate the antigens in a combination vaccine. How do I know if another vaccine option is available? Can I choose the vaccine brand?
How long does it take for a vaccine to be tested and approved for use in Canada?
How do we know vaccines are safe?
Is it safe to get more than one vaccine in the same limb (arm or leg)?
Does Canada have a vaccine injury support program?
Is getting the vaccine riskier than getting the disease?
Is it safe for my child to get more than one vaccine at the same time?
Are combination vaccines safe?
My child accidentally got an extra dose of vaccine. Is this harmful?

Getting the shingles vaccine

How often do you need the shingles vaccine? Do you need to get booster doses? How long does immunity from shingles vaccination last?

Why get vaccinated against HPV

Why are HPV vaccines important?
How well do HPV vaccines work?
Who can get the HPV vaccine for free?

HPV vaccine safety

Are HPV vaccines safe?
Do HPV vaccines cause serious side effects?
I heard the HPV vaccine can cause infertility. Is this true?
Is it safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to get the HPV vaccine?

HPV vaccine & sexual health

Do HPV vaccines promote earlier sexual activity?
Should I get the HPV vaccine if I'm already sexually active?
Do women still need Pap tests if they get the HPV vaccine?

HPV vaccine schedule

How many doses of the HPV vaccine are needed?
Why are HPV vaccines routinely given at such a young age?

Children getting vaccinated

How are vaccine schedules made?

Adults getting vaccinated

How are vaccine schedules made?

Finding vaccine records

I can't find my vaccination records. What can I do?
Can I get a copy of my or my child’s vaccination record from my local health unit?
I don't have a copy of my child's vaccination record. Where can I get one?
How do I find out what vaccines I would have received as a child?
I never got a Child Health Passport for my child. Where can I get one?
I misplaced my child’s Child Health Passport. Can I get another one?

Moving to BC & vaccine records

I am moving to Canada from another country and my family and I got vaccinated at home. How do we get our vaccines entered into B.C.’s immunization records? What vaccines do we need to get in B.C.?
We just moved to BC. How do I report my child's vaccinations?
My child was vaccinated in another province/country. How do I get their records?
We are moving to Canada and my family and I got vaccinated in our home country. Are the vaccine brands different between countries and B.C.? We don’t have our vaccine records, do we need to get antibody tests in B.C.?

Travel vaccines & Adults

What vaccines do I need for travel within Canada?
In childhood, I followed the BC vaccination schedule. As an adult travelling outside of Canada, do I need boosters of routine vaccines or travel vaccines?
What vaccines do I need for travel outside of Canada?

TWINRIX®

I had two doses of the combination hepatitis A and B vaccine (TWINRIX®) and missed my third dose at six months. Do I have to restart the schedule?
Do you need to get a booster of the combination hepatitis A and B vaccine (TWINRIX®) if you already had three doses?
How long does the combination hepatitis A and B vaccine (TWINRIX®) vaccine provide protection?
I would like to get the combination hepatitis A and B vaccine (TWINRIX®) for travel. How much does it cost?

Travel vaccines & Children

Is it safe to travel internationally with children if they haven't completed their routine vaccinations? How long does it take for them to be protected?
Is it safe to vaccinate a baby with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine before one year of age for international travel? What about children who need a second dose of MMR vaccine?
We are travelling outside of Canada and our child is due for their routine vaccinations. Can we get the vaccines early or get the vaccines in another country?

Where to get Travel vaccines & Costs

Do prices change depending on where you receive your travel vaccines? How do I know if a clinic or healthcare providers are qualified to give travel vaccines?
Where can I get travel vaccines? Do I have to pay for travel vaccines?

Rabies

Who should get a rabies vaccine? Is the vaccine free? Where can I get the rabies vaccine in BC?
I live in BC and I think an animal that may have rabies has bitten or scratched me. What should I do?
I was travelling and an animal that may have rabies bit or scratched me. I started my rabies vaccination outside of Canada. How do I finish my rabies vaccine series in BC? Do I have to pay?

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccines

I am pregnant and wondering if I should get the Tdap vaccine. Where can I get the Tdap vaccine in BC, and will I have to pay for it?
I would prefer the one Tdap vaccine brand over the other. In BC, can I choose which Tdap brand I get (Adacel or Boostrix)?
Is the Td (Tetanus-diphtheria) vaccine publicly funded (free) in BC, and how often should I get it?
Who is tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) vaccine recommended for? Should I get a Tdap or Td vaccine? Do I have to pay?
Can you get a tetanus vaccine alone (without diphtheria)?
I stepped on a rusty nail yesterday. Do I need a tetanus vaccine right away?
My child had a Td vaccine last year after stepping on a nail. Do they need to get the Tdap vaccine in grade nine?
I received a tetanus shot a week ago, and my arm is very sore. Is this normal?
I had whooping cough. Do I have immunity, or do I need to get the pertussis vaccine?
How often should adults get a tetanus/diphtheria booster? What if you have an injury?

Monkeypox

Will people in BC be offered a vaccine to protect against monkeypox?