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Vaccines in BC

Vaccines available in BC, with recommended schedules.

Each vaccine profile links to:

  • vaccine product information for health professionals: the corresponding document in the Immunization Manual: Part 4: Biological Products (Vaccines and Immune Globulins)
  • public health information: the corresponding HealthLink BC file on the vaccine and disease

There are two vaccines available in BC that provide protection against varicella:

  • Varicella vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (MMRV) vaccine

The efficacy of a single dose of varicella-containing vaccine is about 94% in children. With a second dose, efficacy is about 98%.


Varicella Vaccine Recommendations

Children as part of the routine immunization schedule: Children are routinely provided with 2 doses of varicella vaccine with the 1st dose (varicella vaccine) given at 12 months of age and the 2nd dose (given as MMRV vaccine) at 4 to 6 years of age.


Unimmunized children, adolescents and adults: Two doses of a varicella or varicella-containing vaccine are needed for those who are susceptible to varicella. 

As of June 2018, a varicella susceptible person is one without a history of lab confirmed varicella or herpes zoster after 12 months of age and without a history of age appropriate varicella immunization. A self-reported history of varicella or physician diagnosed varicella is adequate only if disease occurred before 2004.


Depending on the need for measles, mumps or rubella protection, MMRV vaccine can be used for healthy children 4 to 12 years of age; otherwise varicella vaccine should be used. For more information reagrding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications, please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Varicella Vaccine and MMRV Vaccine.


For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and typical side effects, read the HealthLinkBC files: 

 
The diphtheria vaccine is combined with other vaccines, so a person can receive protection from several diseases with one shot. Diphtheria-containing vaccines are provided for free as part of routine immunizations in British Columbia. There are several vaccine combinations that are recommended for children and adults at various ages.

DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib 
  • diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis b, polio, haemophilus influenzae type b
  • for children under the age of 7 years starting their immunizations in February 2009 or later
  • three doses
  • usually given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age
  • vaccine product information 
  • public health information 
DTaP-IPV-Hib
  • diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenzae type b
  • booster dose generally given at 18 months of age for toddlers who have completed a primary 3-dose infant series with any DTaP-IPV-Hib containing product
  • vaccine product information 
  • public health information 
Tdap-IPV

Tdap
Td
 
The Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine is combined with other vaccines, so a person can receive protection from several diseases with one shot. 

Hib-containing vaccines are provided for free as part of routine immunizations in British Columbia.   

For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and possible reactions, click on the links below to go to the specific HealthLinkBC files. 


DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • For children under the age of 7 years starting their immunizations in February 2009 or later
  • Three doses
  • Usually given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age 
DTaP-IPV-Hib (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • Booster dose generally given at 18 months of age for toddlers who have completed a primary 3 dose infant series with any DTaP-IPV-Hib containing product. 


The hepatitis A vaccine is not part of the routine immunization schedule.


The hepatitis A vaccine is provided free of charge to people at high risk of hepatitis A infection, including:

  • Those who have hemophilia or receive repeated infusions of blood or blood products
  • Those who inject drugs or share drug snorting, smoking, or injecting equipment
  • Males who have sex with other males
  • Those with HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection, or chronic liver disease
  • Those who have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant
  • Those who will have or have had a liver transplant
  • Inmates of a provincial correctional facility
  • Close contacts of a person with hepatitis A infection. These include people living in the same house, close friends, daycare contacts, sexual partners, and people who share drugs.
  • Those who have eaten food prepared by a food handler with hepatitis A infection, and other foodhandlers at the same establishment. 
  • The hepatitis A vaccine is free and recommended for all aboriginal individuals 6 months to 18 years of age, and all adults with medical, occupational, or lifestyle risks.

It is also recommended, but not provided free to adults who have never been vaccinated against hepatitis A.

For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and possible reactions, visit the hepatitis A vaccine HealthLinkBC file.

 

 

The hepatitis B vaccine is given for free as part of routine immunizations to infants and to children who are in grade 6 and who have not been given the vaccine before. It is also given to adults at risk of hepatitis B exposure because of medical conditions, occupation, or lifestyle. It is usually given at the same time as other vaccines.

For more information about each vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and possible reactions, click on any one of the links below to go to the specific HealthLinkBC file.  

DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b) 

  • Three doses
  • Usually given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age
Hepatitis B Vaccine 
For information regarding the Hepatitis B disease please refer to Diseases and Conditions.

 

 

 

There are currently two HPV vaccines available and in use in BC:

  • Cervarix® (HPV2)
  • Gardasil®9 (HPV9)

Both vaccines protect against HPV types 16 and 18 that cause about 70% of cervical cancers and 80% of anal cancers. The HPV9 vaccine protects against five additional cancer causing types (HPV 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58) which account for about 15% of cervical cancers, 11% of anal cancers in females and 4% in males. HPV9 vaccine also protects against HPV types 6 and 11 that cause about 90% of cases of genital warts.

Both of these HPV vaccines are approved by Health Canada.


9-valent HPV Vaccine Program

The HPV9 vaccine is publicly funded for both boys and girls in grade 6 as part of the regular school-based immunization program. The vaccine is being offered to boys in grade 6 for the first time starting in September 2017.

The HPV9 vaccine is also publicly funded for females born in 1994 or later who were not immunized in the school-based program, or did not complete their vaccine series.

The HPV9 vaccine is also publicly funded for individuals 9 to 26 years of age who are:

 

  • HIV positive;
  • transgender;
  • males who have sex with males, including those who may not yet be sexually active and are questioning their sexual orientation; and
  • males who are street involved.

Other males eligible for HPV9 vaccine include those:

 

  • 9 to 18 years of age in the care of the Minisitry of Children and Family Development
  • in youth custody services centres.

For more information about the updates to the HPV9 program in BC, please refer to Updates to the HPV immmunization program Q&A.

Recommended but Not Publicly Funded HPV Vaccine
Unless indicated above, HPV9 vaccine is recommended, but not publicly funded for the following people:

 

  • women 45 years of age and younger born prior to 1994 
  • males 9-26 years of age
  • males 27 years of age and older who have sex with men. 

Cervarix® (HPV2) is recommended, but not publicly funded, for females 9 to 45 years of age.  The vaccine is not currently approved for use in males.

Those not eligible for publicly funded HPV vaccine, but who would like to receive the vaccine, can purchase it from most pharmacies and travel clinics.       

For more information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications for HPV vaccines please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines.


Administration

The HPV vaccines are given as either 2 or 3 doses over a 6 month period.  Immunocompetent individuals 9 to 14 years of age need 2 doses given at least 6 months apart.  Individuals 15 years of age and older and those who are immunocompromised need 3 doses.


Other Information on HPV
 
About the disease

Influenza is a respiratory infection caused primarily by influenza A and B viruses.  In Canada, influenza generally occurs each year in the late fall and winter months.  Symptoms typically include the sudden onset of high fever, chills, sore throat, cough and myalgia.  Other common symptoms include headache, loss of appetite, fatigue, and coryza.  Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, especially in children.  Most people will recover within a week or 10 days, but some are at greater risk of more severe complications, such as pneumonia.


About the vaccine

For a complete list of the different types of influenza vaccines available in Canada, see the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) statement on seasonal influenza vaccine

Both inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccines are authorized for use in Canada; some are trivalent formulations (protecting against three strains of the virus) and some are quadrivalent formulations (protecting against four strains). Influenza vaccine is safe and well-tolerated.  Influenza vaccine cannot cause influenza illness because the inactivated vaccines do not contain live virus and the viruses in the live attenuated vaccine are weakened.  For more information regarding guidelines for use and contraindications against receipt of influenza vaccine, see the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Influenza Vaccines.

Inactivated influenza vaccine: The inactivated influenza vaccine is made of killed influenza viruses and is approved for those 6 months of age and older.  The inactivated influenza vaccine is administered by intramuscular (IM) injection.  For more information on the intended use of influenza vaccines by age group, see the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Intended Use of Influenza Vaccines.

Live attenuated influenza vaccine: The live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is made from weakened influenza viruses.  It is given as an intranasal spray into both nostrils.  It is approved for use in individuals 2 to 59 years of age and, in BC, is publicly funded for children and youth 2 to 17 years of age inclusive. The current evidence does not support a recommendation for preferential use of LAIV in children 2 to 17 years of age.  NACI continues to recommend that a quadrivalent vaccine be used in children 2 to 17 years of age.  If a quadrivalent vaccine is not available, trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIIV) should be used. For more information on the intended use of influenza vaccines by age group, see the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Intended Use of Influenza Vaccines


Who should receive the influenza vaccine?

NACI recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receives the influenza vaccine, with rare exception.  However, it is especially important that certain individuals are vaccinated, including those who are at high risk of serious illness from the flu (such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions) and those able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk.  For a complete list of those for whom influenza vaccine is recommended and provided free in BC, see the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Eligibility


Vaccine schedule

The influenza vaccine is usually given as 1 dose.  Children under 9 years of age who have never received the seasonal influenza vaccine require 2 doses of the vaccine, given 4 weeks apart.  The second dose of seasonal influenza vaccine improves the immune response, as children in this age group are less likely to have been exposed to an influenza virus in the past.  Children under 9 years of age who have previously received one or more doses of seasonal influenza vaccine should receive one dose of influenza vaccine in subsequent seasons.  For further information, see the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Influenza Vaccines


Vaccine effectiveness

The seasonal influenza vaccine is the best way to protect against influenza.  How well the vaccine works varies from season to season.  It depends on how well matched the influenza vaccine is with the viruses circulating during the season and on the health and age status of the person being vaccinated.  When the influenza vaccine is well matched with the circulating viruses, it prevents influenza in about 60% to 80% of adults and children receiving the vacccine. Effectiveness is less in the elderly population but studies have demonstrated that the influenza vaccine decreases the incidence of pneumonia, hospital admissions and death in the elderly population. For further infomation on the seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness and immunogenicity, see the NACI statement on seasonal influenza vaccine


More Information on Influenza

There are two vaccines available in BC that provide protection against measles:

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (MMRV) vaccine

The efficacy of a single dose of measles vaccine given at 12 to 15 months of age is estimated to be between 85% to 95%. With a second dose, efficacy is almost 100%. Immunized individuals are far less likely to get measles, and even if they develop measles infection, are less likely to experience complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis.


Measles Vaccine Recommendations

Children as part of the routine immunization schedule: Children are routinely provided with 2 doses of a measles-containing vaccine with the 1st dose (MMR) given at 12 months of age and the 2nd dose (MMRV) given at 4 to 6 years of age.


Unimmunized children and adolescents: Two doses of a measles-containing vaccine are needed. Depending on the need for varicella protection, MMRV vaccine can be used for healthy children 4 to 12 years of age; otherwise MMR is the appropriate vaccine.


Susceptible adults born on or after January 1, 1970 (who are not health care workers): Two doses of a measles-containing vaccine (given as MMR) are needed. This is especially important for travelers.


Adults born before January 1, 1970 (who are not health care workers): These people are generally assumed to have acquired immunity to measles from natural infection. However, there may be a small number of susceptible individuals born before 1970 who do not have a history of measles disease. Those who self-identify without a history of measles disease or vaccine may be considered susceptible and should be offered 1 dose of the MMR vaccine.


Health care workers: Health care workers born in 1957 or later, who do not have evidence of immunity to measles, need 2 doses of a measles-containing vaccine. Those born before 1957 are considered immune to measles. 

For more information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, MMR and MMRV Vaccines.


In the event of a measles outbreak, the local Medical Health Officer for that geographic region may make additional vaccine recommendations such as a dose of MMR vaccine for adults in the outbreak-affected age group.


Determining Immunity to Measles

Immunity to measles is determined by either disease or vaccination history. Serological testing to establish immunity to measles is not routinely recommended before or after vaccination.


Adults born before January 1, 1970 (January 1, 1957 for health care workers) are likely to have acquired immunity to measles from natural infection and therefore do not require the MMR vaccine. However, there may be a very small number of susceptible individuals born before 1970. These individuals are eligible for 1 dose of MMR vaccine. 

Individuals born on or after January 1, 1970 (January 1, 1957 for health care workers) need laboratory evidence of measles immunity OR documentation of 2 doses of a measles-containing vaccine.


For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and typical side effects, read the HealthLinkBC files:

 
Meningococcal C conjugate vaccine

The meningococcal C conjugate vaccine protects against infection from one of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, type C. The vaccine is part of BC's routine immunization schedule and is provided to children at 2 and 12 months of age. 


For more information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications, please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Meningococcal Vaccines, Meningococcal C Conjugate Vaccine.


Meningococcal quadrivalent conjugate vaccine

The meningococcal quadrivalent conjugate vaccine protects against infection from four types of meningococcal bacteria: types A, C, Y and W. The vaccine is part of BC's routine immunization schedule and is given to grade 9 students.


The vaccine is also given to:

  • persons with medical conditions that put them at a higher risk of infection from meningococcal bacteria.
  • close contacts of a person with meningococcal A, Y, or W disease, or those who are at risk of infection with these types of meningococcal bacteria during an outbreak.

For more information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications, please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Meningococcal Vaccines, Meningococcal Quadrivalent Conjugate Vaccines (Groups A, C, Y W-135).


For more information about the grade 9 meningococcal vaccine program please refer to the following resource:  

Meningococcal B (Men-B) vaccine

The Men-B vaccine protects against infection by one of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, type B.  This vaccine is not part of the publicly funded routine immunization schedule in B.C.  However it is provided free to those 2 months of age and older who have been in close contact with a case of meningococcal B disease.   


The Men-B vaccine is recommended, but not provided free, for those who are at risk of meningococcal B infection due to certain medical conditions including: 

  • functional or anatomical asplenia, including sickle cell disease;  
  • immune system disorders including complement, properdin, factor D, or primary antibody deficiencies.  

The vaccine is also recommended, but not provided free for:    

  • laboratory workers routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria;
  • military personnel; 
  • those traveling to an area where the risk of meningococcal B disease is high.  

The vaccine is given as a series of 2, 3 or 4 doses depending upon the age at which the immunization series is started. 


For more information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications, please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Meningococcal Vaccines, Meningococcal B Vaccine.

 

People who want to be protected against meningococcal B disease may purchase the vaccine at some travel clinics and pharmacies.  


For more information:

 

 

There are two vaccines available in BC that provide protection against mumps: 

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (MMRV) vaccine

Mumps vaccine effectiveness has been estimated at 62% to 91% for one dose and 76% to 95% for two doses. Immunized individuals are far less likely to get mumps, and even if they develop mumps infection, are less likely to experience complications such as orchitis and meningitis.


Mumps Vaccine Recommendations

Children as part of the routine immunization schedule: Children are routinely provided with 2 doses of a mumps-containing vaccine with the 1st dose (MMR) given at 12 months and the 2nd dose (MMRV) given at 4 to 6 years of age.


Unimmunized children and adolescents: Two doses of a mumps-containing vaccine are needed. Depending on the need for varicella protection, MMRV vaccine can be used for healthy children 4 to 12 years of age; otherwise, MMR is the appropriate vaccine.


Susceptible adults born on or after January 1, 1970: One dose of a mumps vaccine (given as MMR) is needed for mumps protection. However, it is recommended that some adults born in 1970 or later receive 2 doses of mumps vaccine, including:

  • Health care workers (those born between January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1969 require 1 dose of mumps vaccine)
  • Travellers to outside of North America
  • Post-secondary students

Adults who are not health care workers, and are born before January 1, 1970: These people are generally assumed to have acquired immunity to mumps from natural infection. However, there may be susceptible adults in this age group. Those who self-identify without a history of mumps vaccine or disease may be considered susceptible and should be offered 1 dose of the MMR vaccine.


For more information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, MMR and MMRV Vaccines.


In the event of a mumps outbreak, the local Medical Health Officer for that geographic region may make additional vaccine recommendations such as a dose of MMR vaccine for adults in the outbreak-affected age group.


Determining Immunity to Mumps
Immunity to mumps is determined by either disease or vaccination history. Serological testing to establish immunity to mumps prior to vaccination is not recommended because the titre of IgG required for mumps immunity is not known.

Adults born before January 1, 1970 are likely to have acquired immunity to mumps from natural infection and therefore do not require the MMR vaccine. However, there may be a very small number of susceptible individuals born before 1970. These individuals are eligible for 1 dose of the MMR vaccine.

Individuals born on or after January 1,1970 need prior clinical diagnosis of mumps and laboratory confirmation OR documentation of the recommended number of doses with the appropriate mumps-containing vaccine.

For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and typical side effects, read the HealthLinkBC files:

 

 

 

There are several acellular pertussis-containing vaccines available in BC. Pertussis-containing vaccines are only supplied as combination vaccines and use of a specific vaccine product is based on age and immunization history. For specific information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications for each pertussis-containing vaccine product, please see the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products (Diphtheria and Tetanus-containing vaccines).


The following pertussis-containing vaccines are part of BC's publicly funded immunization program for infants, children and adolescents:

  • DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib
    • Primary series for infants at 2, 4 and 6 months of age
  • DTaP-IPV-Hib
    • Booster dose at 18 months of age
  • Tdap-IPV
    • School entry booster at 4-6 years of age
  • Tdap
    • Reinforcing dose for grade 9 students

Some adults are also elgible for publicly funded Tdap vaccine: 

  • Unimmunized or incompletely immunized adults
  • Inviduals born in 1989 or later who missed getting their adolescent dose of Tdap
Pertussis-containing vaccines for adults recommended by the National Advisory Committe on Immunization (NACI) but not provided for free in BC:

  • Tdap vaccine should be offered in every pregnancy irrespective of previous Tdap immunization history. See below for additional information regarding this recommendation.
  • All adults should receive one dose of Tdap vaccine if they have not previously received a pertussis-containing vaccine in adulthood
Pertussis vaccine in pregnancy
To date, maternal immunization with Tdap has been shown to be safe and facilitates high levels of vaccine derived antibodies to be transferred through the placenta to provide protection for newborns in their first months of life. As per the Canadian Immunization Guide, maternal immunization with Tdap vaccine early in the third trimester protects 90% of infants under 3 months of age against pertussis infection. This is particularly important as infants do not receive their first dose of a pertussis-containing vaccine until 2 months of age and it is during the first two months of life that infants are most at risk from complications associated with pertussis infection. 

NACI recommends Tdap vaccine be given between 27 and 32 weeks of gestation in all pregnancies irrespective of previous Tdap immunization history. Tdap vaccine can be provided up until delivery, but vaccine should ideally be received four weeks prior to delivery to provide sufficient time for antibody transfer. NACI also recommends that Tdap vaccine can be given as early as 13 weeks of gestation for pregnancies with an increased risk of preterm delivery to allow for sufficient time for antibody transfer. For additional information on Tdap vaccine in pregnancy, please see:


Pneumococcal vaccines are given to protect against infection from several types of pneumococcal bacteria. Infection with pneumococcal bacteria can cause invasive pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal-containing vaccines may be provided for free as part of routine immunizations in British Columbia. For more information about the vaccines, who should get them, the benefits and possible reactions, click on the links below to go to the specific HealthLink BC files.


Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13) Vaccine

Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV 13) vaccine protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. 

Healthy infants need 3 shots at 2, 4 and 12 months of age. 

Infants and children at higher risk of pneumococcal disease get 4 shots at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months of age. 

Some people 5 years of age and older with certain medical conditions are at high risk of pneumococcal disease.  The PCV13 vaccine is provided free to:

  • children 5 to 18 years of age with no spleen, or a spleen that is not working properly; and
  • adults and children 5 years of age and older with HIV infection or who have had a stem cell transplant.

These individuals should also get a dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine after their last dose of PCV13.


Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine
  • An additional vaccine which protects against more types of pneumococcal bacteria
  • Not part of the routine immunization schedule for children
  • Provided for free for people at high risk
  • Given to people 2 years of age or older who have certain medical conditions

For more information about the pneumococcal vaccines and who should get them, see the following HealthLink BC files:

 

 

 

The polio (poliomyelitis) vaccine is combined with other vaccines, so a person can receive protection from several diseases with one shot. Polio-containing vaccines are provided for free as part of routine immunizations in British Columbia. For more information about the vaccines, who should get them, the benefits and possible reactions, click on the links below to go to the specific HealthLink BC files. 


DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib
  • Provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • For children under the age of 7 years starting their immunizations in February 2009 or later
  • Three doses
  • Usually given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age
  • HealthLinkBC file
DTaP-IPV-Hib
  • Provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Booster dose generally given at 18 months of age for toddlers who have completed a primary 3 dose infant series with any DTaP-IPV-Hib containing product
  • HealthLinkBC file
Tdap-IPV
  • Provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and polio
  • One dose for children 4 to 6 years of age
  • Given as children start school
  • HealthLinkBC file

IPV (Polio)
  • Provides protection against polio
  • Recommended for unimmunized adults who are at higher risk of exposure to polioviruses
  • HealthLinkBC file

For information regarding the polio disease please refer to Diseases and Conditions.

 

 


Beginning May 2018, BC is transitioning to pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RotaTeq®) in the publicly funded rotavirus immunization program. For more information see Updates to the Rotavirus Immunization Program: Product Change Q&A and the letter to health care providers, Rotavirus Imunization Program: Transitioning to pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5, RotaTeq®).


The rotavirus vaccine helps protect against gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting) caused by rotavirus. The vaccine also helps prevent the spread of rotavirus infection to others. It does not protect against diarrhea and vomiting caused by other viruses. The vaccine has been shown to provide very good protection against rotavirus infection and prevents almost all severe cases of rotavirus gastroenterititis including hospitalization.


The rotavirus vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine and is part of the routine immunization schedule. When the rotavirus immunization program was first introduced in BC in 2012, Rotarix® was the vaccine product used and was given orally at 2 and 4 months of age.


Beginning May 2018, BC will begin transitioning to the RotaTeq® vaccine product. RotaTeq® vaccine is given orally at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. The maximum age for the first dose of rotavirus vaccine is 20 weeks less 1 day and the vaccine series should be completed by 8 months of age.


For more information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications, please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Rotavirus Vaccines, RotaTeq® and Rotarix®


For more information:

Canadian Immunization Guide:
National Advisory Committe on Immunization:
HealthLinkBC File:

 

 

 

There are two vaccines available in BC that provide protection against rubella:

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (MMRV) vaccine

Over 97% of individuals develop immunity after 1 dose of a rubella-containing vaccine. 


Rubella Vaccine Recommendations

Children as part of the routine immunization schedule: Children are routinely provided with 2 doses of a rubella-containing vaccine with the 1st dose (MMR) given at 12 months of age and the 2nd dose (MMRV) given at 4 to 6 years of age.


Unimmunized children and adolescents: Although one dose of a rubella-containing vaccine is needed for protection against rubella, two doses of the combination vaccine (MMR and/or MMRV) is needed for protection against the other diseases these vaccines protect against.


Susceptible adults born on or after January 1, 1957 (who are not health care workers): One dose of a rubella-containing vaccine (most often given as MMR) is needed for rubella protection. This dose should be given on or after 12 months of age. 


Adults born before January 1, 1957 (who are not health care workers): These people are generally assumed to have acquired immunity to rubella from natural infection.


Health care workers: Health care workers, regardless of date of birth, need one dose of a rubella-containing vaccine (most often given as MMR) for rubella protection. 

For more information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, MMR and MMRV Vaccines.


Determining Immunity to Rubella

Immunity to rubella is determined by either disease or vaccination history. Serological testing to establish immunity to rubella is not routinely recommended before or after vaccination. 


Adults born before January 1, 1957 are likely to have acquired immunity to rubella from natural infection and do not require vaccination for rubella protection. The exception to this are health care workers. There is no age above which immunity against rubella can be assumed for health care workers.


Individuals born on or after January 1, 1957 need documentation of one valid dose of a rubella-containing vaccine OR either laboratory evidence of rubella immunity or laboratory confirmed acute rubella infection.

For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and typical side effects, read the HealthLinkBC files:

 

shingles (zoster) vaccine was approved for use in Canada in 2008.  

The shingles vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of getting shingles by 50%. It also reduces pain, including the type of pain that lingers after shingles, if you get shingles despite having been vaccinated. 

The vaccine is recommended but not provided free, to people over 60. One dose of vaccine provides protection. 

You can buy the shingles vaccine at some travel clinics or pharmacies for about $200. Some health insurance plans may cover the cost of the vaccine; check with your provider. If you buy the vaccine at a travel clinic, a doctor or nurse on site will be able to vaccinate you.  Most pharmacists in BC are also able to immunize.  If you want to be immunized by your doctor, find out if they have a supply of the vaccine. 

The shingles vaccine is not the same as the chickenpox vaccine, although they are related.  Children and susceptible adults in BC are eligible to receive chickenpox vaccine. 

For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and possible reactions, visit the Shingles Vaccine HealthLinkBC file.

 

 

 

The tetanus vaccine is combined with other vaccines, so a person can receive protection from several diseases with one shot. Tetanus-containing vaccines are provided for free as part of routine immunizations in British Columbia. There are several vaccine combinations that are recommended for children and adults at various ages. 


For more information about the vaccines, who should get them, the benefits and possible reactions, click on the links below to go to the specific HealthLinkBC files. 


DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib 
  • Provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • For children under the age of 7 years starting their immunizations in February 2009 or later
  • Three doses
  • Usually given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age
  • HealthLinkBC file
DTaP-IPV-Hib
  • Provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • For children under the age of 5 years and starting their immunizations before February 2009
    • Four doses
    • Usually given at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months of age 
  • Given as a booster shot for children who received 3 doses of DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib
    • Usually given at 18 months of age
  • HealthLinkBC file
Tdap-IPV
  • Provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and polio
  • One dose for children 4 to 6 years of age
  • Given as children start school
  • HealthLinkBC file
Tdap
  • Provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis
  • Given as a single booster dose to grade 9 students
  • Boosts immunity from previous doses of tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis-containing vaccines. 
  • HealthLinkBC file
Td
  • Provides protection against tetanus and diphtheria
  • Booster dose recommended for adults every 10 years
  • Boosts immunity from previous doses of tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis-containing vaccines.
  • HealthLinkBC file

For information regarding the tetanus disease please refer to Diseases and Conditions.


 
SOURCE: Vaccines in BC ( )
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