Frequently Asked Questions about Immunizations

I Received a letter from Ottawa Public Health - FAQ
 What is Immunization Surveillance?

Under the Immunization of Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) and Child Care and Early Years Act, children attending school and childcare in Ontario are required to be vaccinated against specific diseases or have a valid exemption.

Parents are required to report their child's immunization information to Ottawa Public Health on an ongoing basis, if the child attends school or child care in Ottawa. The information reported is stored in a confidential electronic province wide database called Panorama.

Every year, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reviews the immunization records of all children attending childcare and schools in Ottawa to make sure the information is up-to-date. Updates on immunizations are crucial information to protect the health of children during an infectious disease outbreak, such as measles.

 Why is it important?

Immunization is a simple and effective way to protect your child against vaccine preventable diseases. By maintaining an up to date record, OPH can quickly determine which children are protected and which are at risk in the event of an outbreak.

OPH can then take the necessary steps to protect everyone from vaccine preventable disease. Sometimes this means that children who are not adequately immunized must be excluded from school or childcare until the outbreak is over.

What is the Immunization Surveillance Process? 

Annually, OPH reviews all the parent-reported immunization information in Panorama for children attending school or childcare in Ottawa.    

OPH then sends  letters (IMMUNIZATION RECORD UPDATE FORM) to  parents of children whose immunization records are not up-to-date in Panorama.

The IMMUNIZATION RECORD UPDATE FORM will identify the child and the incomplete immunization(s) records.  

The form will indicate a "Return by Date".

OPH requests that parents contact OPH to update the child's immunization record on or before "Return by Date". This may require a call or visit to your family Health Care Provider or local walk in clinic.

Your health care provider can record any new immunization that child received on the IMMUNIZATION RECORD UPDATE FORM. Report this to OPH to update your child's record.

Why did I receive a letter from OPH?

There are several common reasons for receiving a letter requesting that you update your child's immunization record:

Your child is missing one or more required vaccines and does not meet the Ontario immunization requirements for child care or for school attendance

  • Your child might be up to date with all of the required immunizations. However, the most recent information has not been updated with OPH. See "Didn't my doctor or child's school submit my child's record to OPH? 

  • Ottawa Public Health does not have an immunization record for your child.

  • Your child may have received invalid immunization doses that do not comply with the immunization requirement of Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) or Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)

  • We have not received a Ministry approved standardized exemption form for your child to be exempted from receiving immunizations.

 I received a letter from OPH. What should I do next?
Our staff is here to help you.

1. Locate your child's immunization record

Find all the documents with your child's past immunization information. In Ontario, most children are given a yellow immunization booklet at birth. However, any proof of immunization can help us update your child's record.This may require that you contact your Health Care Provider. For more information read, "I don't have my child's immunization record". Please note that OPH requires a full date (with a year, month and day) and vaccine name in order to update your child's immunization record.

2. Review the information listed in the Immunization Record Update Form

Section A lists the immunization information that is missing or invalid in your child's record at OPH. Section B lists the immunization information OPH currently has on record for your child.

3. Update Ottawa Public Health

If your child has received the missing immunization(s) indicated in Section A (and it is not listed in Section B), simply update OPH.If your child is missing the immunization(s) indicated in Section A, make an appointment with your local Health Care Provider to receive the immunization(s) and update OPH. Please note that these vaccines are free.

Where can I have my child immunized?
Your child can receive immunization at:
  •  Family Doctor's office / Health Care Provider. Call ahead of your visit to make sure that the vaccine is available.

Or at a:

  • Walk-in-clinic
  • OPH Immunization Clinic by booking an appointment at 613-580-6744. The Immunization Centre at Ottawa Public Health provides immunization services to children up to 18 years of age and adults having difficulty accessing publicly funded vaccines in the community and/or requiring assessment of out of country immunization records. The clinic is open during regular business hours, except on statutory holidays, and on evenings on select week- days. The clinic runs by appointment only.

If you need help in finding a family doctor, check out Health Care Connect to register.

My child does not have an Ontario Health Card (OHIP). How can I get my child immunized? 

Children who are new to Canada or who do not have an Ontario Health Card can call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 to book an appointment.

Immunizations and health services can also be obtained through your local Community Health Centre and other community clinics.

International students can receive immunizations through their international medical insurance with their local health care provider or community clinic. Call Ottawa Public Health if you need assistance. 

I do not have a copy of my child's immunization record. 
If your child had immunizations in the past, contact your current or past health care providers and request a copy of immunization record. 

If you have moved from another city, you may be able to contact your previous health unit to obtain the records that they have on file. 

If your family doctor has retired, you can contact Quebec Vaccination Registry (if your child received vaccines in Quebec) or record storage companies (e.g. RSRS, Accuro EMR) to obtain a copy of your records. A fee might be associated with the retrieval. We do not intend to endorse these companies and they are not affiliated with Ottawa Public Health.

If you do not have any records of your child's immunizations, it is recommended that your child complete a catch-up schedule.  Re-immunization is not harmful and highly recommended. This will ensure that your child is adequately protected against vaccine preventable diseases.

For more information on the recommended schedule and catch up schedules, please visit the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario

Why didn't my child's doctor or school submit my child's record to OPH? 
Parent(s)/Legal Guardian(s) are responsible for updating Ottawa Public Health every time their child receives an immunization.

Your child's health care provider and school are not mandated to report your child's immunization to Ottawa Public Health. Find out more about Reporting Immunization.

In some cases, your health care provider may tell you that your child's immunization is up-to date. However, the information may not have been reported to OPH. We recommend that you obtain a copy of the record and submit it to OPH. 

Why is OPH asking for a vaccine that my child has already received?
Some immunizations that your child receives require multiple doses given at specific ages and intervals in order to develop adequate immunity.  For this reason, we may ask you for dates of immunizations administered several years ago.
Why did I receive a suspension letter? My child received the required vaccine.

There are several common reasons for receiving a suspension letter:

  1. The immunization information has not been reported to OPH. Parent(s)/Legal Guardian(s) are responsible for updating Ottawa Public Health every time their child receives immunization.
  2. The information you provided was submitted past the "Return by Date" listed on the IMMUNIZATION RECORD UPDATE FORM. A suspension Letter is automatically generated for your child if we do not receive the required information before the "return by date".  Contact Ottawa Public Health and speak with a nurse by calling 613-580-6744.
  3. Your information has not yet been processed. Please note that if you submit the requested information online or via fax, it can take up to 5 business days for the information to be processed and for your child's record to be updated. You can expect to receive an email or automated voice message confirming if your child's record is up to date or not. Otherwise, please contact Ottawa Public Health and speak with a nurse by calling 613-580-6744.
What if I do not want my child to receive vaccines for medical or philosophical reason?
Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) and Child Care and Early Years Act, children who cannot be immunized for medical or philosophical reasons should complete and submit an exemption form to Ottawa Public Health to be compliant with the law.  Please refer to Choosing Not to Immunize for more information.
What happens if I miss the "return by date" or if I don't submit the required immunization information to OPH?

If you have received an IMMUNIZATION RECORD UPDATE FORM and your child's immunization record is not updated by the "Return by date" listed on the form...

Children in childcare:

Your childcare operator will be informed in a compliance report.

Children and youth in schools:

You will receive a second letter that has an ORDER FOR SUSPENSION FROM ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL. The order for suspension will take effect on the date listed in the order. Your child will be suspended from attending school and this will remain in effect until the child's immunization record is updated with OPH or until 20 school days has past.  

Which immunizations are mandatory for Child Care Centres and schools?

Immunization Requirement for Children Attending Child Care Centres

Immunization Requirement for Children Attending Schools

Is it okay if my child receives multiple Immunizations at the same time? 
Yes. Multiple immunizations can be received at the same time. Your child's immune system can safely and effectively handle more than one immunization at a time. Most common side effects are mild (such as low grade fever and tenderness on the injection site) and will last for only a day or two.

Everyday your child's immune system is exposed to numerous pathogens from their own environment. These exposures help your child's immune system develop protection.

However, exposure to certain pathogens could cause serious, potentially life threatening infections.

Immunizations allow your child's immune system to develop protection against these specific diseases without having to go through a natural infection that could make your child very sick. 

Why does my child need another MMR? My child has received it.
Children require two doses of Measles and Mumps vaccine and one dose of Rubella vaccine after their first birthday. Your child may have received a letter for the MMR vaccine due to any of the following reasons:
  1. Your child might have received the first dose before 1 year of age.
  2. Once your child is 7 years old, the second dose of MMR is required for school attendance. It is possible that Ottawa Public Health (OPH) only has one dose on record if a record update was not shared to OPH.
  3. The MMR vaccine is invalid because it was given too soon after another live vaccine.

Receiving the MMR vaccine too early or too soon after another live vaccine causes the dose to be invalid because it may not provide your child with adequate protection against the diseases.  Confirm the date with your health care provider and update Ottawa Public Health.  Knowing the brand name of the vaccine will also be helpful so we can accurately record it in your child's file.

Why does my child need Varicella vaccine? My child has received it.
Children born in 2010 or later are required to have two doses of Varicella vaccine after their first birthday. As recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, two doses of Varicella vaccine can reduce varicella disease incidence, increase herd immunity, potentially decrease disease outbreaks, as well as minimize the number of cases occurring in adolescents and adults.

 Your child may have received a letter for varicella due to any of the following reasons:

  • Your child might have received the first dose before 1 year of age.
  • Once your child is 7 years old, the second dose of Varicella is required for school attendance. It is possible that OPH only has one dose on record.
  • The Varicella vaccine is invalid because it was given too soon after another live vaccine

Receiving the Varicella vaccine too early or too soon after another live vaccine causes the dose to be invalid because it may not provide your child with adequate protection against the disease. Your child may also receive Varicella in the form of MMRV vaccine where the Varicella vaccine is combined with protection against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. MMRV vaccine is for children between 1 to 12 years old. Confirm the date with your health care provider and update Ottawa Public Health. Knowing the brand name of the vaccine will also be helpful so we can accurately record it in your child's file.

You have to report to Ottawa Public Health if your child born in 2010 or later has had previous infection of chickenpox on or after 1 year of age. 

Why does my child need Polio vaccine? My child has received it.
Polio is a series vaccine, meaning that it requires multiple doses at specific ages and intervals to provide adequate protection.

Your child may have received a letter for Polio due to any of the following reasons:

  1. Your child is missing one of more doses of their Polio series (note that all children require their final dose of Polio vaccine to be on or after their 4th birthday). 
  2. A dose of Polio immunization could be invalid if the minimal interval between Polio immunizations was not respected.
  3. Your child might be on a catch-up schedule and is now overdue to receive immunization(s).

Confirm with your health care provider if your child has completed the series in correct intervals (time between vaccines) and update Ottawa Public Health. Knowing the brand name of the vaccine will also be helpful so we can accurately record it in your child's file.

Why does my child need a Diphtheria, Tetanus and/ or Pertussis? My child has received these.
Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis are series vaccines, meaning that they require multiple doses at specific ages and intervals to provide adequate protection.

Your child may have received a letter for Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis due to any of the following reasons:

  1. Your child is missing one or more doses of their Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis series. Please note that all children require a booster dose of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine to be on or after the 4th birthday (generally between the ages of 4 and 6) and then every 10 years (with the first booster dose generally between the ages of 14 and 16). 
  2. A dose of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis immunization could be invalid if it was given too early or if the minimal interval between Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis immunizations was not respected.
  3. Your child might be on a catch-up schedule and is now overdue to receive their next Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis immunization(s).

Confirm the dates with your health care provider and update Ottawa Public Health. Knowing the brand name of the vaccine will also be helpful so we can accurately record it in your child's file.

Can my child receive Pertussis only if my child has already received Tetanus and Diphtheria.

A pertussis-only vaccine is not available in Canada. If your child requires a pertussis immunization, they will receive a combined diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine.

Some health care providers administer diphtheria and tetanus (Td) only vaccine during an emergency procedure. There is no harm in receiving a diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) vaccine for the added protection against pertussis. Confirm with your healthcare provider if a diphtheria and tetanus (Td) or a diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP/Tdap) vaccine was given and update Ottawa Public Health. Knowing the brand name of the vaccine will also be helpful so we can accurately record it in your child's file.

Why does my child need men-C-C? My child has received it.
All children in grade 5 or below require once dose of men-C-C vaccine received on or after their first birthday.

Your child may have received a letter for men-C-C due to any of the following reasons:

  1. Your child might have received a dose of men-C-C before 1 year of age.
  2. A dose of men-C-C could be invalid if the minimal interval between meningococcal C-strain immunizations was not respected.

Receiving men-C-C too early is considered invalid and may not provide adequate protection against the disease. Even if your child has received more than one dose prior to 1 year of age, a booster dose after 1st birthday is still required to ensure adequate protection. 

Confirm the date with your health care provider and update Ottawa Public Health. Knowing the brand name of the vaccine will also be helpful so we can accurately record it in your child's file.

Why does my child need men-C-ACYW135? My child has received it.
All children in grade 7 to 12 require one dose of men-C-ACYW135.

Your child may have received a letter for men-C-ACYW135 due to any of the following reasons:

  1. Your child might have received a dose of men-C-ACYW135 before 1 year of age.
  2. A dose of men-C-ACYW135 could be invalid if the minimal interval between meningococcal vaccines was not respected.

The Men-C-ACYW135 vaccine is offered in schools in grade 7 and is a mandatory vaccine. All children in grade 7 or older must have received one men-C-ACYW135 vaccine.

It is recommended that children receive this vaccine at 12 years old to provide adequate protection against meningococcal disease, regardless of previous doses received. Any child born on or after 1997 remains eligible to receive a dose of men-C-ACYW135 through school-based clinics (if in grade 7-12), your health care provider or walk-in clinic.

What vaccines will be given and when?

See our "vaccines offered" page.

What is the age of consent in Ontario?

The Health Care Consent Act, 1996 of Ontario, states that there is no minimum age for consent to health care. If the student is deemed by the nurse to be able to consent, they can sign their own consent form.

What should I do if my child has a pre-existing health condition (e.g. recent concussion, chronic health condition or on a prescribed medication)? 

Please call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 and ask to speak to a nurse to see if it is ok for your child to be vaccinated at school. 

My child faints when he gets a needle.  Can he get the vaccine at the doctor's office?  

Fainting is common especially with growing teens. Fainting is not a "side-effect" of immunization.  Things that increase the chance of fainting are having low blood pressure, skipping meals and being very anxious before or after getting a needle. Make sure your child has a snack or a good breakfast before the clinic. Encourage your child to tell the nurse if they have fainted before so the vaccine can be given lying down. 

School Immunization Clinics: Questions and Answers for Parents/Guardians

Who gives the vaccines in school clinics?

Our public health nurses receive specific immunization training and annual recertification. All our nursing staff are licensed with the College of Nurses of Ontario. OPH gives thousands of vaccines annually so our staff are very proficient and skilled at putting anxious children at ease. 

How will the school clinics run?

Students will be called down by class to the school clinic to receive their vaccines.

Students will be supervised for at least 15 minutes post-vaccine.

Severe reactions are rare and most occur within 15 minutes of getting the vaccine. The nurses will stay at the school for at least 15 minutes after the last vaccine is given.

If it is a large school, nursing staff may vaccinate over a two or three-day period. 

What will happen if my child has a reaction after the nurses have left? 

School personnel will provide first-aid. This may include referring the student to their family physician or emergency services (if indicated). Report any reactions that occur after nurses have left, to Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.

What can I do if my child is worried about the vaccination(s)? 

See our "reducing pain during vaccinations" page.

Who can I contact if I have questions or if I did not get a consent form? 

See our "school clinics" section for a link to the consent form. If you have a question about the consent form, you can contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.
My grade 7 child missed a school clinic. Where can my child get the vaccines and when?

At your child's next School Immunization Clinic (if available)

  • OPH has school clinic twice a year, in the fall and then again in the spring
  • A signed consent form or verbal consent is needed for your child to receive the vaccines at school
  • Your child will bring the consent form home the week prior to the fall clinic
  • A consent form is also available on our website
  • Send the signed consent form with your child on the day the school clinic
  • You may call in your verbal consent to OPH if unable to send the signed form with your child

At an OPH Clinic

Your child can come to an OPH clinic all year - including the summer

  • if your child missed both school clinics in grade 7 or
  • if your school does not have an immunization clinic (ex: small private school) or
  • your child is homeschooled

Call 613-580-6744 to make an appointment

At your doctor's office

  • Vaccines for grade 7 students can only be released for special circumstances such as:
    • If your child has a serious underlying health issue
    • If your child has a severe needle phobia
    • If your child suffers from behavioural, cognitive or emotional exceptionalities that might make providing consent and receiving a vaccine difficult in a group situation
My child (in grades 8-12) is missing grade 7 vaccines.

At your child's next School Immunization Clinic (if available)

  • OPH has school clinics twice a year, in the fall and then again in the spring
  • A signed consent form or verbal consent is needed for your child to receive the vaccines at school
  • Your child will bring the consent form home the week prior to the fall clinic
  • A consent form is also available on our website
  • Send the signed consent form with your child on the day the school clinic
  • You may call in your verbal consent to OPH if unable to send the signed form with your child
  • Students should go to the school clinic early in the morning to give name and homeroom
  • Older students will be called to come to the clinic once grade 7 students are finished

At an Ottawa Public Health Clinic

Your child can come to an OPH clinic all year - including the summer

  • if your child is in grade 8-12 and missed the school clinics in grade 7 or
  • if your school does not have an immunization clinic (ex: small private school) or
  • if your child is homeschooled
  • Call 613-580-6744 to make an appointment

At your doctor's office (if there is an underlying health issue or servere needle phobia)

  • You or your doctor's office can request that the vaccines be released to your doctor
  • Two or 3 weeks before your doctor's appointment call 613-580-6744 to make the request.
I have questions about the Hepatitis B Vaccine.

My child received 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine as an infant. Do I sign the consent form?

No.  You do not need to sign the grade 7 consent for Hepatitis B vaccination. The three doses of Hepatitis B your child received as a baby should provide lifetime immunity.  The National Advisory Committee for Immunization (NACI) does not recommend a booster dose for healthy individuals.

Is Twinrix® a Hepatitis B vaccine?

Twinrix® or Twinrix®Junior is a vaccine that contains both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis A vaccine. Some people purchase these vaccines when they are planning to travel to countries where Hepatitis B and/or Hepatitis A are common.

My child received two doses of Twinrix Junior when he was small.  Should I sign a consent for my child to receive Hepatitis B vaccine in grade 7 at school?

We recommend that you discuss with your doctor (or the office where you received your vaccine) to see if your child needs another dose of the vaccine. We recommend that you complete the third dose of Twinrix® Junior at your doctor's office if needed.  There will be a charge for Twinrix® Junior at your doctor's office because it is not publicly funded in Ontario.

If you prefer to have your child receive publicly funded Hepatitis B, they will then be complete for their Hepatitis B vaccines, but may require a final dose of Hepatitis A from the doctor's office to be completely protected against both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis A.  Please ensure that your child's record is updated with the correct dates of the vaccines.

My child received 2 doses of Twinrix®Junior vaccine in Quebec when my child was in Grade 4. Does my child still need more Hepatitis B vaccine?

No. Research has recently shown that students who received 2 doses of Twinrix®Junior vaccine, 6 months apart have shown an equivalent antibody response to those who received all three doses of Twinrix® Junior. For this reason, they are considered to have completed their Hepatitis B and Hepatitis A series so they don't need to receive another Hepatitis B vaccination. Please ensure that your child's record is updated with the correct dates of the vaccines.

My child was born in another province and received three doses of DTaP-IPV-HB-Hib vaccine (Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B) as an infant, does my child need another dose of Hepatitis B for a booster dose?

No You do not need another dose of Hepatitis B vaccination.

The three doses of DTaP-IPV-HB-Hib that your child received as a baby should provide lifetime immunity.  The National Advisory Committee for Immunization (NACI) does not recommend a booster dose for healthy individuals. 

I have questions about Meningococcal C-ACWY-135 vaccine.

My child received a Meningococcal vaccine after age one. Why is another one needed in grade 7?  

  • The meningococcal vaccine that your child most likely received after one year of age was a vaccine that covers one meningococcal disease strain - the C strain. The protection from that vaccine decreases over time and a booster dose is needed.  Studies show that youth and young people from ages 14 to 25 are at an increased risk for meningococcal disease.
  • Meningococcal conjugate- ACWY-135 (Menactra®, Menveo®, or Niminrix®) protects against 4 of the dangerous strains of meningococcal disease so it is recommended that youth and young adults receive at least one dose during the teen age years. In Ontario it is provided during grade 7.

My child received meningococcal conjugate-ACWY-135 before age 11. Is another dose needed in grade 7?

We recommend that you consult with your doctor to see if waiting might be the best option for your child. We know that meningococcal conjugate-ACWY-135 can offer protection for approximately 5 years so your child may still be getting protection from the dose given before age 11.  Your child will remain eligible to receive one dose of the publicly-funded vaccine from grade 7 until the end of grade 12.

I have questions about the HPV vaccine.

Through the School Immunization Program, all students attending grade 7 in Ontario are eligible to receive publicly-funded doses of HPV9 until the end of grade 12. 

Is it true that HPV9 is also publicly funded for young men age 26 or under?

Yes. As part of the High Risk HPV Immunization Program HPV9 is publicly funded for men who have sex with men (MSM) who are 26 years of age or younger, who identify as gay, bisexual, as well as some individuals who identify as trans, and who have not started their HPV vaccine series before September 5, 2017.

My child received HPV4 (Gardasil®) last year but needs one more dose to complete the series.  Can my child receive HPV9?

  • When you signed your child's consent during grade 7, you were consenting for your child to receive HPV4.  At that time, HPV4 was the vaccine that your child was eligible to receive. Only current grade 7 students (starting in the 2017/2018 school year) are eligible to receive HPV9.
I have questions about how the school immunization program works.

If my child needs to complete their grade 7 vaccines in grade 8, do I need to sign a new consent form?

If you signed a consent, or called in a verbal consent to Ottawa Public Health in grade 7 you will not need to sign a new consent form. That consent, whether written or verbal is good for 24 months.

My child has an exemption on file for a vaccination, how can I be sure that my child won't receive the vaccine at a school clinic?

  • Once you have completed the exemption process your child's electronic profile will be specially flagged so it will be clear to our nursing staff that your child (children) are not to be immunized for specific vaccines. 

  • Our nurses mark the class lists to indicate students who are not due for vaccines, have medical or philosophical exemptions or students who have no consents on file.  Those students may come down to the clinic area with their classmates, but they do not enter the clinic area because our reception staff (using the screened class list) call the students by name and ask them to wait outside the clinic and let them know that they won't be receiving a vaccination. 
  • It is a good idea to also speak with your child ahead of time to let them know that they should not be receiving a vaccine at the school clinic.

During the spring immunizations, will the grade 7 students who were missed during the first round of immunizations go first? I'm concerned they will be missed again.

During the spring immunizations, we will ask the school to invert the class order for immunizations. We will start first with any students who were not immunized and with the last class immunized. 

How does Ottawa Public Health (OPH) track students who still need to complete their school immunizations?

  • At the end of grade 7, OPH identifies grade 7 students who did not complete their immunization series. These families will be sent an automated telephone message using the telephone number we have on file. The message will provide information to parents on their options for completing the grade 7 immunizations. 
  • When the nurses come to the school, they have a list of students who are still missing vaccines and who have an existing consent on file.
  • You don't need to sign another consent because the first one will remain in place for 24 months.

Several grade 7 students including my child, were not immunized at my child's school. Nurses won't be returning to the school until the spring.

My child is on special medications for an underlying health condition. Is it safe for them to receive the school immunization program vaccines?
There are very few underlying health conditions that would prevent a child from receiving vaccines. Consult with your doctor and/or contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 to speak with a nurse about your child's specific situation. The nurse can answer your questions and provide you with information about what options are available for your child to receive the publicly funded vaccinations. 
My child has a serious needle phobia. What are my options to ensure that publicly funded vaccines are received? 
Needle anxiety is common in teens. Our nurses in the school clinics have dealt with many anxious children and have developed several techniques to make the process as anxiety-free as possible.      
  • Distraction
  • Allowing a student to listen to music
  • Using ice or a local anesthetic like EMLA® or Ametop® to numb the injection site
  • Ensure you send your child to school well fed.
  • Pack an extra drink or snack to avoid fainting.

If you know ahead of time that your child is prone to fainting please contact us ahead of time so we can lie them down on the gym mats for their immunization.  Explain what will happen in the clinic.

My question is not answered here.
If you have questions, please contact Ottawa Public Health to speak with a nurse at 613-580-6744.  Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm, excluding statutory holidays. 

Disclaimer

Answers to these questions are for information purposes only and are not intended to replace medical advice. If you need more information, we recommend that you consult your health care provider or call Ottawa Public Health and ask to speak with a nurse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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