Immunization

Immunization prompts your body to build immunity, or resistance, against certain diseases before you are exposed to those diseases, typically using vaccines to cause an immune response.

"Immunization is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to avert between 2 and 3 million deaths [world-wide] each year." – World Health Organization

Routine immunizations

  • Diphtheria
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Pneumococcal Disease
  • Rotavirus
  • Meningococcal Disease
  • Mumps, Measles, Rubella
  • Chickenpox
  • Human papillomavirus

When to immunize

Seasonal immunizations

  • Influenza, also called "the flu"

Prevent influenza (the flu)

One of the best ways to prevent seasonal influenza is through yearly immunization because the influenza virus changes each year. Vaccine effectiveness varies from year to year, but immunization is still the best protection.

Contact your local pharmacist or physician for details on vaccine availability.

Vaccination policy changes to protect children

Amendments to the Public Health Act aim to better protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

2016 amendments:

  • Alberta Education will share student enrollment information with Alberta Health. Alberta Health will cross-reference this information with provincial immunization records to identify students with incomplete or missing immunization information.
    • It is a one-way information flow on student enrollment. No health information will be shared with Alberta Education.
    • Alberta Health already has the ability to collect student enrollment information from schools. However, the amendments will enable one secure transfer from Alberta Education to Alberta Health.
  • Public health nurses will work with parents whose children are not immunized or not fully immunized to share information about immunization benefits and risks, and address parents’ concerns.

Parent contact information will be shared with Alberta Health in the future when Alberta Education has this information available. At that time, parents of students in all grades will be contacted as needed by public health practitioners to review their child’s immunization status.

  • Parents will continue to have the final decision on immunizing their child.

To protect children with missing information or declined immunization, if a highly contagious vaccine-preventable disease, such as measles, occurs at their school, they may be excluded from school. In some cases, children may need to stay home for several weeks.

Immunization records and statistics

Immunization records are kept by Alberta Health Services (AHS) at the health zone level. If it has been more than 7–10 years since your last immunization, AHS may not have a copy of the record.

In Alberta, the last childhood immunization is provided in Grade 9.

More information on immunization and vaccines