Immunization is a way of providing protection against many infectious diseases that were once common in Canada and around the world. Immunizations are also called vaccinations, needles or “shots.” Vaccines help the immune system learn how to recognize and fight the germs that can cause serious illness or death.
Why are vaccines important?
Vaccines are known to be safe and effective. Vaccines help protect children and adults against serious diseases. Because of vaccines, not many Manitobans and Canadians get sick or die from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccines in Manitoba
Publicly funded vaccines are available to residents of Manitoba based on the Manitoba Immunization Schedule. This schedule outlines the routine immunizations recommended for infants, children and adults. These vaccines are available from multiple health-care providers in the Interlake-Eastern RHA:
- Flu vaccinations for those age six months and up begin in early November every year.
- Infant and childhood vaccines are primarily provided by nurse practitioners, physicians and public health nurses.
- School entry vaccines are recommended prior to the start of kindergarten and are available from public health nurses, physicians and nurse practitioners. More information available in the Starting Kindergarten Checklist (Bil).
- School-based immunizations are primarily provided by public health nurses in schools. These programs are offered in grades 6 and 8.
- Adult immunizations are provided by the health-care providers listed above, as well as some pharmacies in the region. What vaccines do adults need? describes adult vaccinations. For further information, see the Recommended immunizations for adults.
- Every fall, public health nurses host numerous influenza immunization clinics across the region, offering free flu shots available to everyone.
Preparing Your Child
Childhood immunizations are important but they can be scary for some children. Helping your child to get ready for their needle can help reduce that fear. Here are some ideas to help your baby or toddler: A Better Immunization Experience for Infants and A Better Immunization Experience for Toddlers.
- Individuals who have been vaccinated may feel no effects after the immunization; some may have minor reactions such as a tender injection site, slight fever or feeling tired.
- Report any severe or unexpected reactions to your doctor, public health nurse at your local community health office or Health Links-Info Santé at 1-888-315-9257.
Immunization Information in other Languages
- To obtain a Manitoba immunization record, please contact your local Community Health Office.
- Immunization records for Manitoba residents are maintained in a secure, integrated electronic public health record known as Panorama.
- If you have moved to Manitoba from another province or country, it is important to have your immunization records transferred into the Panorama system. Please contact your local community health offices to have your Manitoba immunization record updated.
- Immunizations administered to children prior to 1980 or to adults prior to 2000 may not be documented within the PHIMS registry, prior to electronic record-keeping.