Vaccines are Safe
We recommend vaccinations for both children and adults.
Choosing not to vaccinate is not just about your child - your family, your child's friends, their families, and the residents of Niagara can all be affected by your decision not to vaccinate your child or yourself.
The decision to vaccinate your child is an important one; make sure you are well informed.
Important Information When Not Vaccinating Your Child
If you do not vaccinate your child, keep the following in mind:
- If your child is sick and needs medical attention, you must tell any health care provider your child sees that he / she has not received vaccinations (e.g. family doctor, walk-in clinic, hospital, ambulance, dentist)
- Other children and adults who cannot receive vaccines could be exposed to a highly contagious disease and become deathly ill (e.g. someone with cancer, a weakened immune system, pregnant women)
- Your child cannot go to school or daycare and may not be able to attend other activities, such as playgroups or sports, in the event of a community outbreak
- Depending on how the disease spreads, it may not be possible to avoid exposure. For example, the measles virus remains on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours. An unvaccinated person could get measles just by entering the room.
- If you plan to travel outside of Canada, you put your child at greater risk of getting vaccine preventable diseases
- Just because you may not hear about cases of vaccine preventable diseases in Canada, outbreaks do happen. Due to international travel, these diseases are now only a plane ride away.
- Students who do volunteer work or go to summer camps usually need an up-to-date immunization record. Without up-to-date immunization, they may not be able to participate in these activities.
- Students entering a college / university program for a career that deals with the public (medical, education, police, etc.) are required to have an up-to-date immunization record. Students who do not have this may not be able to register for their program.
Getting Vaccinations Later On
It's okay for you or your child to change your mind later and receive his/her complete set of vaccinations.
The series of vaccines must follow the Ontario immunization schedule - it may take a few months, or even a few years to complete.
If you have any questions, call us at 905-688-8248 ext. 7425 or toll-free at 1-800-505-6074, or talk to your health care provider.