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Childhood Immunization Information
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Childhood Immunization Information

Immunization has saved more lives in Canada in the last 50 years than any other health measure.

By getting all vaccines on time, you, your child, and your community can be protected from many preventable diseases.

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Why should my child get immunized?

  • Immunizations protect your child from dangerous diseases and help to keep disease from spreading.
  • Immunizations cost less than getting treated for diseases.
  • Immunizations have very few serious side effects, far fewer than the diseases themselves!
  • Immunizations are often needed before a child can attend school or daycare.

How old should my child be when they are immunized? What happens if they've missed a shot?

Ideally, vaccinations are given to children at two months old, four months old, six months old, 12 months old, 18 months old, and four years old.

If a child has missed an immunization, a public health nurse or other health professional can plan a schedule to bring the immunizations up to date.

Where can I get my child immunized?

Click here for a list of drop-in and appointment clinics offered throughout Prairie North Health Region.

Are immunizations really needed? Haven't we gotten rid of most diseases?

Only immunizations prepare your child's body to fight disease. Widespread immunizations in Canada have led to a sharp drop in diseases. Better living conditions have also helped, but they aren't enough to protect you from disease.

Dangerous diseases, such as polio, still exist in other countries. Travellers can bring them into Canada. Measles outbreaks have occured recently in North America. It's still very important to have your child immunized.

Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?

No! Evidence-based reviews have rejected any causal associations between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism spectrum disorders in children, according to the U.S. Institute of Medicine. A Montreal study of 27,749 children born from 1987 to 1998 also concluded there was no relationship between pervasive developmental disorder (autism) rates and a 1- or 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella immunization schedule. In addition, a large Danish study of all children born in Denmark between 1991 and 1998 (537,303 children) concluded there was no difference in the rates of autism between vaccinated and unvaccinated children.

Some speculation has tried to link thimerosal in the MMR vaccine to autism, but the MMR vaccine routinely used in Canada has never contained thimerosal. DTaP, polio and Hib vaccines have not contained this preservative since 1997-98.

Although the reason for the increase in autism is not yet conclusively known, one explanation may be the broader definition and inclusion of many more behaviours and learning disorders within autistic spectrum disorders.

(Source: Canadian Coalition for Immunization Awareness & Promotion)

Learn more about vaccine safety here.

Visit shotbyshot.org to read stories of vaccine-preventable diseases.

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