Vaccines for babies and toddlers
How to protect children from 2 months to 3 years with safe and reliable vaccines.
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In the first few years of life, your child is most at risk of contracting a serious disease that can be prevented through vaccines. These diseases can cause very serious illness and even death.
Vaccines make your child’s immunity stronger.
If you don’t vaccinate your child early, infection from certain diseases can kill or seriously harm them before their body develops a strong immune system. Vaccines use weakened or killed virus or bacteria to trigger your child’s natural immune response to provide long-term protection against a disease (without the risk of getting the disease). It is like a rehearsal for the immune system, so your child is prepared if they are exposed to the "real" disease.
Vaccinations are safe
Vaccinations do not cause autism.
Scientific studies and reviews continue to show no relationship between vaccines and autism.
Some people won’t develop immunity to a disease after being vaccinated, but the vaccine itself cannot infect someone. If a vaccinated individual does contract a disease which they were vaccinated against, their illness will be less severe.
When to get vaccines for your baby or toddler
You should vaccinate your children during their first and second years.
First year vaccinations
At 2 and 4 months old, babies should receive the following vaccines:
At 6 months old, babies should receive the following vaccine:
At 12 months old, babies should receive the following vaccines:
Second year vaccinations
At 15 months old, babies should receive the following vaccine:
At 18 months old, babies should receive the following vaccine:
Children who attend school in Ontario must have proof of immunization against:
- meningococcal disease
- whooping cough (pertussis)
- chickenpox (varicella) – required for children born in 2010 or later
Parents are required to:
- provide records of their child’s immunization to their local Public Health unit
- update the information when their child receives additional doses of vaccine according to the immunization schedule
If your child requires an exemption from the immunization requirements for school attendance, please speak to your local Public Health unit. Children who are exempt from immunization are at increased risk of disease. They may be removed from school during a disease outbreak.
Children in licensed daycare centres
If you want your child to attend daycare, and decide not to vaccinate them due to medical, religious or philosophical reasons, you will need to give your daycare a valid written exemption. If the disease appears in your child’s daycare centre, your child may have to stay out of daycare until the disease is no longer present.
Flu vaccine for babies and toddlers
The flu can cause serious complications in children under 5. Unless there is a medical reason not to, everyone aged 6 months of age or older can benefit from getting the seasonal flu vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccine for babies and toddlers
Getting vaccinated and staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines is the best way to protect your children from severe outcomes from COVID-19 and its variants. Infants and children aged six months to under five years are eligible for a primary series only.
Special medical conditions
If your child has special medical conditions or other high risk factors, they may need additional vaccines. Talk to your health care provider or your local Public Health unit about other recommended vaccines.