Immunizations for babies and toddlers

Vaccines are an important part of healthy growth and development. Think of them the same way you would healthy eating, physical activity, or proper sleep. 

Vaccines are a proven and safe way to prevent serious infections. Although we rarely see most of these diseases in Canada now, they still exist. If we stop vaccinating children, these diseases will return. Vaccines sometimes even prevent death.

Vaccines help your body to help itself. Your body will make antibodies when you get a vaccine. Antibodies help your immune system to identify and destroy a virus. This will protect your baby or toddler and those around them.

Most vaccines are given by injection. Some are given orally (in the mouth). New types of vaccines, such as nasal sprays, make them less painful for some patients.

It is important to report any vaccines your child receives to Ottawa Public Health(OPH). OPH keeps a record of your child's vaccinations to help protect public safety. This is important if there is ever a disease outbreak.

Parent blurb

Your child's health care provider and school are not mandated to report your child's immunization to OPH. Please visit our Reporting page for more information on reporting vaccines.

What vaccines does my baby or toddler (birth to 3 years) need?

Your baby will need several vaccines before the age of 3. From birth, babies have some antibody protection provided by the mother and will begin to develop their own antibodies in response to germs that are part of the environment. Vaccines help your baby develop antibodies to protect them from diseases that can cause serious harm and even death.

The schedule below will help you know what vaccine your child needs, and when:

At 2 months and again at 4 months
  1. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  2. Pneumococcal conjugate-13 
  3. Rotavirus 
At 6 months
  1. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  2. Rotavirus
  • Influenza vaccine is recommended starting at six months of age and older
At 12 months
  1. Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  2. Meningococcal conjugate-C
  3. Pneumococcal conjugate-13
At 15 months
  1. Varicella (chickenpox)
At 18 months
  1. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

You will need to get the vaccines listed from your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, you can get them from a walk-in clinic.

Visit our diseases prevented by routine vaccination page for more information on these diseases.

See what vaccines are publicly funded in Ontario in this resource.

Where can my child receive immunizations?

Vaccinations at your Health Care Provider’s office

Additionally, in Ontario, routine immunizations can be given at your Health Care Provider’s office or a walk-in clinic, if your Health Care Provider or the walk-in clinic has agreed to offer this service. If your child requires a routine vaccination, please follow up with their primary care provider. Your Health Care Provider can complete a form to send to the Ottawa Public Health vaccine room.

If you are currently looking for a Health Care Provider please register with Health Care Connect, and a nurse will help you find a doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients in our community. 

Routine Vaccination Clinics
 

NEW! Family Vaccination Clinics

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is now offering routine immunization services for children and youth who live in Ottawa and who are facing barriers in getting their routine immunizations in the community.

Clinic locations and hours of operation

 

Clinic

Address

Hours of operation

Orléans Client Service Centre

255 Centrum Boulevard

  • Monday February 13, 2023: 9:45 am to 4:00 pm
  • Friday February 17, 2023: 9:45 am to 4:00 pm

J.H Putman 

2051 Bel-Air Drive

  • Thursday February 2, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Friday February 3, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Monday February 6, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Tuesday February 7, 2023: 12:45 to 7 pm
  • Thursday February 9, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Friday February 10, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Monday February 13, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Tuesday February 14, 2023: 12:45 to 7 pm
  • Thursday February 16, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Friday February 17, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm

Richelieu Vanier

300 Des Pères-Blanc Ave

  • Wednesday February 8, 2023: 12:45 to 7 pm
  • Wednesday February 15, 2023: 12:45 to 7 pm 

Kanata Recreation Complex

100 Charlie Rogers Pl

  • Wednesday February 8, 2023: 12:45 to 7 pm
  • Wednesday February 15, 2023: 12:45 to 7 pm

Tom Brown Arena

141 Bayview rd

 

  • Thursday February 2, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Thursday February 9, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Thursday February 16, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm

The Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre

2260 Walkley Road

  • Friday February 3, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Friday February 10, 2023: 9:45 am to 4 pm
  • Tuesday February 14, 2023: 12:45 to 7 pm

Century Public School

8 Redpine Drive
  •  Thursday February 9 :  9:45 am to 4:10 pm 
Orleans Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA 265 Centrum Boulevard
  •  Friday February 10: 9:45 am to 4:10 pm 
Kanata Recreation Complex 100 Charlie Rogers Place
  •  Saturday February 11: 9:45 am to 4:10 pm 

 

You are eligible to book an appointment if you have a child or youth that meets one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • your child is a newcomer to Canada;
  • your child does not have an Ontario Health Card (OHIP);
  • your child does not have a primary health care provider, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner;
  • your child is currently unable to access immunizations through their health care provider.

Book a vaccination appointment

 Neighbourhood Health and Wellness Hubs
*Please see below for the hub locations offering school-based vaccines and other services. No appointment necessary.
Reducing pain during vaccination

Getting a vaccine will be a new experience for your baby. Your toddler might be a bit afraid. Here are some helpful tips to reduce the pain of a vaccine. Give it your best shot!

For babies

Breastfeed

  • Breastfeed your baby 5 minutes before the injection, as well as during and after vaccinations, to reduce pain and to provide comfort.

Breastfeed to minimize vaccination pain - 2 months

Breastfeed to minimize vaccination pain - 6 months

Hold comfortably

  • Hold the baby close to your body, in a front-to-front position with both legs exposed. This reassuring close contact can help to reduce pain. 

Offer sugar water

  • For babies 12 months of age or less, who are not breastfed, give a few drops of sugar solution (on the tip of the infant's tongue) one minute before the injection. Repeat administration of a few drops of sugar solution just before the injection. The sweet solution provides a few minutes of pain relief during vaccination.
  • Purchase a pre-mixed sugar solution at a pharmacy or prepare one at home by mixing 5 mL (one teaspoon) sugar with 10 mL (two teaspoons) water. Do not use honey.
  • Never use sugar water at home to calm a fussy or crying baby, as this can lead to tooth decay.
  • Feed your baby or give sips of water to clean the baby's mouth after vaccination.
For toddlers

Prepare your child ahead of time

  • Read stories about what happens when you visit the doctor.
  • Offer an honest explanation about what to expect.  Prepare young children (under 4 years of age) just before the injection. Prepare older children the day before.
  • Describe how vaccination will feel (for example, like a pinch).
  • Tell your child what they can do to ease the pain (for example, sit still, breathe deeply, relax the arm).

Distract your child

  • Draw your child's attention away from the needle. This is one of the best ways that you can help your child. 
  • Distract your child with a favourite toy or blanket, a book, music, singing, or telling a joke or a story.
  • Tell your child to take a deep breath and to blow it out slowly. Blowing bubbles or blowing on a pinwheel can help also. 

Position your child in an upright position

Hold your young child securely in a comforting hug, sitting upright on your lap, facing forward, or facing you (front to front), with the arm exposed.  Lying flat on their back during an injection, or being held too tightly, can be scary for children and can increase their fear. Older children can sit alone if they wish, with the arm exposed.

If your child continues to move, ask your healthcare provider about the proper hold technique that is safest for your child.

Vaccine Safety

Visit our Vaccine work page for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more information? Visit our Frequently asked questions page.

Do you have more questions about parenting?

Please ensure to update your child’s immunizations online prior to calling.

Reporting and Updating My Child’s Immunizations

 

Contact Us