FAQ

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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 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?
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?
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?
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?
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?

COVID-19 vaccine booster doses (general)

Who should get a fall booster?
Can I get my fall booster sooner than 6 months after my primary series or previous booster?
Is one COVID-19 bivalent vaccine better than the other?
Can I get one of the original mRNA COVID-19 vaccines instead of a bivalent vaccine for my fall booster dose?
What vaccine will I be offered for my fall booster?
Will my booster dose still be effective if I got it less than 3 months after infection? What if I got my booster dose and then tested positive the next day?
I recently had COVID-19. How long should I wait for my booster dose?
When can I get my fall booster dose?
Should I have a fall booster even if I already had my 2nd booster?
I am eligible to get my booster but haven't received and invitation to book. What should I do?

Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines (general)

What is a "bivalent" COVID-19 vaccine?
Is one COVID-19 bivalent vaccine better than the other?
Should a person who received the monovalent COVID-19 vaccine or the Moderna bivalent vaccine for their fall booster now get the Pfizer bivalent vaccine?
When will the Pfizer bivalent vaccine be available in BC?
Is the Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine effective against Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants?
Can I get a bivalent vaccine for my primary series (1st or 2nd dose)?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine (general)

I'm visiting BC from another province. Can I get a COVID-19 booster while I am here?
My children and I were immunized outside of BC or Canada. What should we do? Are our vaccines valid?

COVID-19 vaccine schedules & timing (general)

Can COVID-19 vaccines be given at the same time as other vaccines?
Who should get a three-dose primary series?

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 Is it safe to get the COVID-19 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 to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I use marijuana/cannabis? Does it matter if it is edibles, smoked, etc.?

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 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?
How can I protect my unborn baby from COVID-19?
If I get the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant does the immunity offer protection after the baby is born?
Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?
If I am vaccinated and breastfeeding, do I pass on COVID-19 immunity to my baby?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine (youth)

How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine do youth 12 to 17 years of age need?
Does a youth who had COVID-19 still need the vaccine?
What vaccines do youth 12 and over get?
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)

Can mRNA vaccines cause inflammation of the heart?
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?
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?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine (children)

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

COVID-19 vaccine dose & schedule (children)

How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will children aged 5 to 11 get?
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?
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?
Will children aged 5 to 11 get the same dose as youth and adults?
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)

Can mRNA vaccines cause myocarditis and pericarditis?
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?
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?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine (children 6 mos - 4 yrs)

What COVID-19 vaccines are available for children 6 months to 4 years of age?
Should my young child get vaccinated if they have already had COVID-19?
Why should my young child get the COVID-19 vaccine?
How can my young child have a positive vaccination experience?

COVID-19 Vaccine Dose & Schedule (children 6 mos - 4 yrs)

How many doses of COVID-19 vaccine does my child need?
What is the COVID-19 vaccine dosage for young children?
Can my young child get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccinations?

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety (children 6 mos - 4 yrs)

What are the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines in young children?
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for young children?

Getting the influenza vaccine

I am visiting from another province. Can I get the influenza vaccine for free? How do I do that?
Where can I get an influenza vaccine?
Where can I get the influenza (flu) vaccine?
Can I get the influenza vaccine and my COVID-19 booster at the same time?
I am already registered with the Get Vaccinated system for COVID-19 vaccines. Do I need to re-register to get an invite for the influenza (flu) vaccine?
Is the influenza vaccine free?
When are influenza vaccines available in BC?
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+

I'm not eligible for the free Fluzone high-dose influenza vaccine. Where can I purchase it?
Who can receive the Fluzone® HIGH-DOSE QUADRIVALENT vaccine for free?
What influenza vaccines are recommended for adults 65 years of age and older?
What are the differences between FLUAD® and FLUZONE® HIGH-DOSE QUADRIVALENT influenza vaccines?
Is one of the enhanced vaccines (FLUZONE® HIGH-DOSE QUADRIVALENT and FLUAD®) recommended over the other for adults 65 years of age and older?
What is the impact of the additional B strain in FLUZONE® HIGH-DOSE QUADRIVALENT that is not included in FLUAD®, for adults 65 years of age and older?
I’m a 68 year old who received the regular influenza vaccine because my immunizer had not yet received the enhanced influenza vaccine for people 65 and over (FLUAD®). Should I get FLUAD® now since it is now available?

Influenza vaccine & children

Will the influenza nasal spray be available for kids this year?
Why do children under 9 receiving the influenza vaccine for the first time need two doses?
Where do I get the numbing cream for my child to use before they get the vaccine?

Influenza vaccine safety

I just recovered from COVID-19. Should I wait to get my influenza vaccine?
What are the side effects of influenza vaccines?
Are influenza vaccines safe for pregnant people?
How do I report an unexpected side effect?
Can influenza vaccines give me influenza?
Can I get an influenza vaccine if I am allergic to eggs?
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 effectiveness

How effective 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?

Cost of shingles vaccine

Why aren't all vaccines free in B.C?

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 people who are pregnant or breastfeeding to get the HPV vaccine?

HPV vaccine & sexual health

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

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

Why do vaccine schedules change?
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

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?
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)?
How often should adults get a tetanus/diphtheria booster? What if you have an injury?
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?
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)?

Monkeypox

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