Types of vaccines for diseases

This section provides information concerning specific vaccines and preventable diseases covered by the Alberta Immunization Program. Also check the Routine Immunization Schedule.

Click on an item in the list to show more information and links.

1. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenza type B

These diseases can kill or disable large numbers of children. The vaccine for these five diseases are very effective and are usually combined in one needle.

2. Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus that affects the liver. It can cause permanent liver damage. Under the Alberta Immunization Program, Hepatitis B vaccine is provided in a series for Grade five students.

3. Human Papillomavirus – HPV

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common infection and is passed through sexual contact. It is estimated that over 70 per cent of people will have at least one genital HPV infection in their lifetime. Certain types of HPV infection cause almost all cases of cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccine is most effective when given to girls before they begin any sexual activity and risk exposure to HPV.

4. Influenza

Influenza, commonly called the flu, is an infection of the throat, nose and lungs caused by a virus. As with other viral illnesses, antibiotics do not help to get rid of influenza disease. The disease is mild in some people but other people can become very ill. One of the best ways to prevent influenza is to get influenza immunization every year.

5. Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox)

Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella can make people very sick and can even be deadly. All of these diseases are caused by viruses. Prior to the introduction of vaccines, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella were common childhood diseases. It is much safer for your child to be immunized than it is for them to get measles, mumps, rubella or varicella disease.

6. Meningococcal disease

Meningococcal bacteria can cause two serious diseases, meningococcal meningitis (an inflammation or infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) or meningococcemia (a more serious infection of the blood and many parts of the body). A vaccine to prevent the most common strains of meningococcal bacteria is provided to infants and to adolescents in Grade 9.

7. Pneumococcal disease

Pneumococcal disease is caused by pneumococcal bacteria, of which there are 90 strains. Streptococcus Pneumoniae is a leading cause of invasive bacterial infections in infants and children such as meningitis, serious blood infections and pneumonia. A vaccine provided through the Alberta Immunization program helps protect against the most common strains and will prevent 80–85 per cent of invasive pneumococcal disease.