Healthy Living in the North

Keeping children safe and healthy with routine immunizations

I’m drawn to the topic of immunization for National Immunization Awareness Week, which this year is April 23-30. It’s a chance to highlight the importance of routine immunizations and focus on accurate and up-to-date information and resources. It’s also a good time to reflect on the fact that in the last 50 years, immunization has saved more lives than any other intervention.

Immunization is one of the best ways parents can ensure their children stay healthy and protected from certain vaccine-preventable diseases!

During the first two years of a child’s life, they are very vulnerable and can be susceptible to many vaccine-preventable diseases. These diseases can have serious health consequences for many infants and young children. In some cases, they can be deadly.

National Immunization Awareness Week poster

“For the best protection, it’s recommended that parents follow the routine schedule and ensure all shots are given on time.”

In B.C., infants and young children aged 0-5 are given free vaccines that provide protection from the following diseases:

  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Polio
  • Haemophilus Influenza type B (Hib)
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Varicella
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella (German Measles)
  • Rotavirus
  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis A (for eligible individuals)

The current immunization schedule for infants and children in B.C. has infants starting with their first set of immunizations at two months of age followed by immunizations at four months, six months, 12 months, 18 months, and kindergarten entry.

For the best protection, it’s recommended that parents follow the routine schedule and ensure all shots are given on time.

Here are six reasons from why it’s best to follow the routine schedule:

  1. The routine schedule is based on the best science of today.
  2. The routine schedule is safe and works very well.
  3. You will ensure your child is protected as soon as they can be.
  4. You will reduce your child’s risk of anxiety and needle fear.
  5. The risk of side effects is the same whether vaccines are given together or separately.
  6. You will reduce the number of visits and time spent getting your child’s shots.

In B.C., parents can take their children to their local health unit for immunizations.

Have questions or want more information?

  • Call your local health unit and speak to a public health nurse.
  • Speak to your family doctor or primary health care provider.
  • Call HealthLinkBC (dial 8-1-1). They’re open 24 hours!
  • Visit

About Patricia Strim

Photo and bio coming soon!


National Immunization Awareness Week – 100,000 Vaccine Challenge

Nurses with I Boost Immunity t-shirts in a group photo

Northern Health nurses are boosting immunity – how will you be marking Immunization Awareness Week?

This week is National Immunization Awareness Week and it’s a great time to think about the importance of immunizations! I’m celebrating by taking the “100,000 Vaccine Challenge” with I Boost Immunity and I want to challenge you to take part, too! Together, we can help vaccinate children around the world!

Here’s how it works

I Boost Immunity encourages ordinary people like you to do a series of fun and informative online quizzes. For each right answer, one vaccine is donated to UNICEF Canada. You can also share articles and stories about the importance of vaccination through your social networks. The more you do on the site to learn and share, the more vaccines you earn in support of UNICEF Canada. It’s that simple. I’ll be taking quizzes all week and hope that you’ll join me!

The online quizzes start easy but get more challenging as you level up. You can also form teams and earn achievement badges along the way. Do practically anything on I Boost Immunity and you’ll earn vaccines!

Check out I Boost Immunity and get clicking to help us reach 100,000 vaccines by April 30th!

Carlin Miroslaw

About Carlin Miroslaw

Based in Houston, Carlin is the interim Communications Liaison Nurse for Northern Health. Her role focuses on promoting immunization awareness and supporting internal and external communications. Having lived in the North for over 30 years, Carlin has pursued her outdoor passions of hiking, swimming, canoeing, biking, skiing, and gardening.