Skip to main content

Immunization Coverage

Immunization coverage is the percentage of people who receive one or more vaccines in relation to the overall population.
About coverage

For example, immunization coverage for influenza among people aged 65 years and over is calculated as: 

People aged 65 years and over receiving influenza vaccine in the previous season

  x 100%

Total population aged 65 years and over

The BC Centre for Disease Control works with the province’s regional health authorities to assess immunization coverage in order to:
  • Measure how many people are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases within the overall population
  • Identify ‘populations’ (e.g. people living in certain communities) that have low vaccine coverage in order to explore reasons for low coverage

Immunization coverage measures

In British Columbia, immunization coverage is routinely measured for:

  • Children at the 2nd birthday
  • School-age children
  • Influenza-vaccine recipients

Monitoring coverage

Monitoring trends in coverage is important in order to identify the potential for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases (i.e., when coverage rates drop in a population, that population has increased chances of having a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak). 

In addition, monitoring also guides the BCCDC to recommend where public health should allocate its resources, such as to improving access to immunization services or to public education efforts.  

Coverage measures

Through the routine immunization schedule, infants and toddlers in British Columbia are offered vaccines protecting against up to 15 different diseases.

How do Children Get Immunized in BC? 

  • Most infants and toddlers are immunized either by public health nurses at their local health unit or by their family physicians. 
  • Immunization records are kept for most children in British Columbia in the province’s immunization registry, called Panorama.
  • Panorama records are used to measure immunization coverage for children living in the Fraser, Interior, Vancouver Island, and Northern Health Authorities. 
  • Immunization coverage is measured for two-year-olds living in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority by periodic surveys. 

Coverage Rates in BC 

  • Generally, the percent of children who are fully immunized before their 2nd birthday has ranged between 65% and 73%.
  • 73% of children born in 2014 were fully immunized by their 2nd birthday.
  • When vaccine agents were considered individually, 78%-87% of children born in 2014 were up-to-date for age for each agent.
  • For more details, please see the 2 Year Old Coverage Report (updated in March 2017). 

In British Columbia the following vaccines are routinely provided free to school-age children at the ages outlined below: 

(4-6 years of age)
Grade Six
Grade Nine

Immunization of BC children 

  • Children receive their school entry immunizations either from public health nurses at their local health unit, or at school, or from their family physician.
  • Most of the children in higher grades are immunized by public health nurses in special immunization clinics at their schools.

Who should get the influenza vaccine?

In British Columbia, influenza vaccine is recommended for and provided free to:

  • People at high risk for complications from influenza (including people aged 65 years and over and people with certain medical conditions)
  • People who might transmit influenza to those at high risk for complications (including health care workers)
  • People who provide essential community services which bring them into frequent and close contact with people at risk

Who has received influenza vaccine?

Every year in BC, residential care facilities report their influenza immunization coverage numbers for staff and residents. Similarly, acute care hospitals report their influenza immunization coverage numbers for staff to their health authority. In turn, the health authority reports the influenza immunization coverage numbers to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

In 2003 and 2005, the Canadian Community Health Survey collected information about the health status, health care utilization and health determinants of the Canadian population. The survey included questions that allow the calculation of influenza immunization coverage in people aged 65 years and over living in the community, and in 12 to 64 year olds with high risk medical conditions.


Coverage Reports

Tab Heading
SOURCE: Immunization Coverage ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Centre for Disease Control. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2019 Provincial Health Services Authority.