About vaccines

Vaccines prevent serious illnesses – including many that are easily spread in schools and daycare centres. For more than 200 years vaccines have been saving lives around the world.

Vaccines in Ontario’s routine immunization schedule are provided free of charge if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Parents and guardians are responsible for reporting vaccines administered to school aged children to their local medical officer of health.

When to get vaccinated

Follow Ontario’s vaccination schedule for:



How to get vaccinated

  1. Talk to your doctor or your local public health unit about the vaccines you or your children need.

  2. Get the yellow immunization card from your doctor. Bring the card with you to each immunization appointment and keep it in a safe place so you know which vaccines you or your children have received.

  3. If your children are in school, report all vaccines your children receive to your local public health unit. If your children attend a licensed daycare centre, report all vaccines your children receive to the daycare centre.

Ontario’s yellow immunization record booklet

Vaccine safety

In Canada, we have very strict controls for making vaccines. All vaccines are tested to make sure they are both safe and effective. The most common side effects are mild pain, swelling and redness where the injection was given.

Some infant vaccines may cause a low-grade fever (approximately 38°C) or fussiness for a day or 2 after the injection. Doctors may recommend acetaminophen to prevent fever and pain.

Serious side effects are rare. Please report any side effects or severe reactions to your doctor or public health unit.

Why you should get vaccinated

When you get vaccinated, you make your body stronger and more resistant to disease. No matter how healthy you are, you could get very sick or even die without vaccines to protect you.

When you get vaccines, you protect everyone else around you, too. This includes our most vulnerable people, like very young children and people who are sick or aging.

Many people travel or move from one part of the world to another. If too many people delay or refuse vaccines, we will see more cases of serious diseases here in Ontario – even diseases that have been eliminated here for many years, like measles and polio.

Watch this video to learn more about vaccines.