What vaccines do school-age children need and when?
In B.C., school-age children and teens are offered vaccines in Grade 6 and Grade 9.
Grade 6 vaccines
The following vaccines are routinely offered to Grade 6 students:
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
- Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine (children who have had two doses of the chickenpox vaccine, or who have had chickenpox disease or shingles after one year of age do not need the vaccine)
- Hepatitis B vaccine (children who have had 3 doses of the hepatitis B vaccine at a younger age do not need the vaccine)
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Grade 9 vaccines
The following vaccines are routinely offered to all students in Grade 9:
Children with chronic health conditions may need additional vaccines, or additional doses of vaccine. Talk to your health care provider about what additional vaccines your child may need.
Children should receive all of the routine vaccines on the recommended schedule, with rare exception. These vaccines protect children against diseases that can cause serious illness, long-term disability, or death. There is no benefit to delaying or skipping vaccines for your child, only risk.
Where do school-age children and teens get vaccines?
School-age children and teens are offered routine vaccines at clinics held in their school. These vaccines are provided for free by public health nurses.
Those who miss getting vaccinated in school, who don’t feel comfortable getting vaccinated at school, or who are homeschooled can contact their local health unit, doctor’s office or pharmacy to make an appointment to get vaccinated for free.
Additional vaccines available for purchase
Children may also benefit from additional vaccines that are available for purchase, such as vaccines that protect against hepatitis A and various travel-related diseases. View these resources from the BC Pediatric Society to learn more about non-publicly funded vaccines.
If your child is travelling they may require vaccines to protect against diseases that are rare in Canada but common in other parts of the world. Find information on travel vaccines here.
Talk to your health care provider to find out if your child has all the protection they need.
Why aren't all vaccines free in B.C.? Find out here.
Keeping track of your child's immunizations
Your child will be given a paper record of the vaccines they receive in school. Always keep a current immunization record for your child in a safe place. You may need your child’s record if you register your child for summer camp, college or university and for some travel.
If you have misplaced your child’s immunization record, you can find tips on locating it here.
Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation
Starting in the 2019/20 school year parents and guardians will be expected to provide Public Health with immunization records for students enrolled in the provincial school system. Use the Vaccination Status Indicator to find out whether Public Health has your child’s immunization record. This tool does not provide specific information about your child's immunizations.
Learn more about the Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation here.