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Immunization

Update your child’s immunization record

Any time your child gets a vaccination or booster shot you need to update their record with Ottawa Public Health by:
  • Completing the Online Immunization Reporting to Ottawa Public Health
  • Fax: 613-580-9660
  • Mail: Immunization Program, 100 Constellation Dr., Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8, mail code 26-44
  • Phone 613-580-6744 Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm 
  • CANImmunize App

Immunization is Important!

What is immunization?

  • Immunization (vaccination) saves lives and prevents serious illnesses.
  • Vaccines help the body make its own protection (antibodies) against certain diseases. 
  • Most vaccines are given by injection, but some are given orally (in the mouth). New ways of giving vaccines are being developed, such as nasal sprays and skin patches.

Remember to contact Ottawa Public Health every time your child is vaccinated.

Are vaccines safe?

  • Immunization is very safe and effective! Vaccines are one of the most rigorously researched and monitored areas of medicine. 
  • Every medical intervention has risks, including vaccination, but serious side effects are rare. 
  • Common side effects include soreness, redness, slight swelling at the injection site and a low fever.

Why is immunization important?

  • Immunization protects children from some serious diseases that can make them very sick.
  • It also protects against potentially serious complications of the diseases. 
  • Although we rarely see most of these diseases in Canada now, they still exist. If we stop vaccinating children, these diseases will return. 
  • Children in Ontario must be immunized to attend school or daycare. 
  • If you decide not to immunize your child due to medical, religious or philosophical reasons, you must arrange a legal exemption with Ottawa Public Health.

Keep an immunization record

Personal Immunization Record

  • Your child’s doctor will give you a record of all your child’s vaccinations. This needs to be updated each time your child is given a vaccination. 
  • This record is very important and should be kept safe with other documents such as birth certificates and passports. 
  • Proof of immunization is needed when starting daycare or school in Ontario.
  • Immunization records may be needed for travelling outside the country, going to summer camps, starting university or college, and for many occupations.

Serious diseases that can be prevented with immunization

  • DIPHTHERIA causes fever, sore throat, swollen glands, difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis and death.
  • TETANUS (Lockjaw) causes painful muscle spasms and/or breathing failure that can lead to death. It is caused by bacteria and spores in the soil that can infect wounds. Vaccination is the only way to prevent this infection.
  • PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes severe coughing spells that persist for weeks or months. It can also cause pneumonia (a lung infection), ear infections, convulsions (seizures), inflammation (swelling) of the brain and death. The risk of complications is greatest in children younger than one year of age. 
  • POLIO causes paralysis, inflammation of the brain, and death. People get polio from drinking water or eating food contaminated by the poliovirus. It is no longer common in Canada because of high immunization rates, but cases do occur elsewhere in the world. People may be exposed to it when travelling.
  • HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZAE B (Hib) causes ear infections, breathing problems, damage to joints, pneumonia and meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord that can result in brain damage and death).
  • PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE causes ear infections, meningitis, pneumonia and septicemia (an infection of the blood) that can result in death.
  • ROTAVIRUS causes vomiting and severe diarrhea. It is very contagious and often leads to hospitalization, especially in young children.
  • MEASLES causes a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes. It can also cause ear infections, pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, hearing loss, brain damage and death. 
  • MUMPS causes fever, earache, headache, and painful swelling of the glands in the mouth and neck. It can cause inflammation of the brain, and temporary or permanent deafness. Another possible complication is swelling of the ovaries in females or testes in males, which can cause infertility.
  • RUBELLA causes fever, rash, swelling of the neck glands, and swelling and pain in the joints. If a pregnant woman gets rubella, it can cause growth and development problems in the unborn baby and miscarriage.
  • MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and infection of the blood and other organs. It can progress quickly. Symptoms include headache, high fever, stiff neck, rash and other flu-like symptoms. It can result in blindness, deafness, seizures, amputation of infected limbs and death.
  • VARICELLA (chicken pox) causes fever and a rash of itchy blisters. Complications can be serious and include skin infections, pneumonia, infection of the brain, and death. 
  • HEPATITIS B can cause serious liver problems, such as liver failure and liver cancer, which can lead to death. A vaccine against Hepatitis B is free to Grade 7 students and certain high-risk groups, including infants born to mothers infected with Hepatitis B.
  • HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV) is the most common type of sexually transmitted infection in Canada and causes cancer of the cervix, vagina and vulva. It also causes genital warts. Most HPV infections have no signs and symptoms. Most infections occur in people younger than 25 years of age. Vaccination against HPV is almost 100% effective when given prior to sexual activity and is free for Grade 8 girls.
  • INFLUENZA is a viral infection that causes cough, high fever, chills, headache and muscle pain. It can lead to pneumonia, ear infections, heart failure and death. The severity of this infection varies from year to year and can be mild to life-threatening. In Ontario, anyone six months of age and older can get the vaccine every fall at no charge.

Learn more about the benefits and risks of immunizations

Canadian Paediatric Society, Caring for Kids, Immunization

Immunize Canada

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - Immunization

Ontario’s Grade 8 HPV Vaccination Program

Public Health Agency of Canada - Immunization and Vaccines

World Health Organization - Immunization

Find more information on all the publicly funded vaccines in Ontario, and how they can keep you and your family healthy.

Ottawa Public Health Vaccine Preventable Diseases Program

Mail: 100 Constellation Drive,
Ottawa ON K2G 6J8

Mail-Code: 26-44
Phone: 613-580-6744
Toll free: 1-866-426-8885
Fax: 613-580-9660
Web: ottawa.ca/health
Email: immunization@ottawa.ca

Important information for parents about immunization records for attending school

Since April 2015, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has been reviewing the immunization records of 150,000 students attending elementary and high schools in Ottawa to make sure the information is up-to-date. Updates on immunizations are crucial information to protect the health of students during an infectious disease outbreak, such as measles.

As of early October 2015, the immunization records of 50,000 children in Ottawa are still incomplete. Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), students attending school in Ontario are required to be vaccinated against nine diseases or have a valid exemption. Parents are required to provide this information to school boards at kindergarten registration. Parents are also required to report all additional immunizations that are done at the doctor's office after kindergarten to Ottawa Public Health on an ongoing basis.

In the months ahead, OPH will be sending letters to parents if their child’s records are not up-to-date. A suspension from school may be issued if a student’s record remains incomplete. Written notices will be mailed between late October 2015 and early January 2016 and school suspensions will be staggered between early December 2015 and March 2016.

Parents who receive a letter requesting immunization information can contact OPH by phone at 613-580-6744 or submit immunization information online, by fax (613-580-9660), by mail or by the CANImmunize App. Parents can visit parentinginottawa.ca/immunization for more details about how to submit their child’s immunization information to Ottawa Public Health.

OPH will be hosting “catch-up clinics” for students who are missing required vaccines and don't have a doctor. Students who provide exemptions to OPH for medical or philosophical reasons are not subject to suspensions; however, in the event of an outbreak, the child may be excluded from school while there is risk of transmission.

If you receive a letter from Ottawa Public Health, your cooperation and support to respond quickly is very much appreciated. Your efforts will help protect not only your child but will help ensure all our children are better protected against infectious diseases.

Immunization requirements for school registration

To protect children from disease outbreaks in schools, Ontario has the “Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA).” This act requires that all students in Ontario have proof of immunization against:

  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Polio
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Rubella

Starting in September 2014, children in Ontario will now need proof of immunization against three additional diseases in order to attend school:

  • Meningococcal disease
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)- required by children born in 2010 or later 

Ottawa Public Health is working to have up-to-date immunization records for 150,000 students in Ottawa by September 2015. OPH staff is reviewing the records of all students and estimate that the information for 63,000 students is not up to date. OPH is using an automated dialler to contact parents of children whose immunization information is not up to date. 

Parents are required to provide this information to school boards at kindergarten registration however it is the parent’s responsibility to send information about new vaccines received by their child to Ottawa Public Health. Updates on immunizations are crucial information to protect the health of students during an infectious disease outbreak, such as measles.

If an exemption is required for any reason, contact the Immunization Program at 613-580-6744. (What do I do if I do not want my child immunized?)

More information about immunization is available from Ottawa Public Health.

Open weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm and can be reached by:

Learn more about why immunization is important.

Update your child’s immunization record

Any time your child gets a vaccination or booster shot you need to update their record with Ottawa Public Health by:

  • Completing the Online Immunization Reporting to Ottawa Public Health
  • Fax: 613-580-9660
  • Mail: Immunization Program, 100 Constellation Dr., Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8, 7th floor, mail code 26-44
  • Phone 613-580-6744 Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm 
  • CANImmunize App: canimmunize.ca

Completing school registration

To complete the Public Health portion of school registration.

Immunization is available at:

Your family doctor or a walk-in clinic.

There is no charge for the vaccines available through public funding.

DO NOT GO TO THE CHEO EMERGENCY UNIT FOR ROUTINE IMMUNIZATION. IT IS ONLY FOR EMERGENCY CARE.
Find a doctor:

Keeping immunization records

Your doctor should give you a written record whenever immunization is given to your child. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to take care of this record and keep it up to date. It’s as important as a birth certificate or passport. Health Canada recommends restarting immunization when the child has no documentation of immunization.

Written records are needed when:

  • Starting day care or kindergarten
  • Transferring to a new school in another area
  • Going to summer camp
  • Starting university or college, especially in health care programs
  • Living in residence at university or college
  • Going to work
  • Traveling to countries where the diseases are common
  • Going for emergency health care

Deciding not to immunize a child

You are encouraged to speak with a Public Health Nurse (PHN) to discuss how best to protect your child from vaccine preventable diseases. For any questions you may have related to vaccines or the exemption process, please call Ottawa Public Health (OPH) at 613-580-6744 to speak with a PHN.

A valid signed exemption form is required if you decide not to immunize your child for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. Please note, any child with a religious or philosophical vaccine exemption, and certain medical exemptions, on file will be excluded from attending school in the case of an outbreak caused by a related vaccine preventable disease.

Once you have decided to obtain an exemption you must complete the following steps.

For Medical Exemption:

  1. Print the Ministry Medical Exemption Form
  2. Have your physician complete the form. Please note there may be a cost.
  3. Mail original copy to OPH. See mailing address below.
  4. We encourage you to keep a copy for your own records.

For Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief:

  1. Please print off the Affidavit Instruction Letter and indicate the vaccines for which your child should be exempted. 
  2. Fill out the Ministry Exemption Form online 
  3. The Exemption Form must be signed by parent and by an Ontario Commissioner for Taking Affidavits (See list of commissioners on letter, and note there may be a cost). A list of all the City of Ottawa Client Service Centres can be found on ottawa.ca.   
  4. Once you complete the forms, please mail the original copy of the exemption form and the letter to OPH by mail:

Ottawa Public Health
Attn: Immunization
100 Constellation Dr.
Ottawa (Ontario) K2G 6J8
Mail Code 26-44

School Immunization clinics

Call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656) for more information. You can also connect with OPH on our Blog, Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth) for the latest public health information.

Vaccine consent form and fact sheets

School immunization clinics

Clinics in schools allow students with signed consents to easily access vaccines during regular school hours.

Schedule

Clinics are ONLY for students registered at the particular school.

If your child misses the clinic at his or her school or if he or she is home schooled, your child can go to one of the catch up clinics to receive the vaccination.

Ottawa Carleton District School Board

OCDSB Schedule for 2016-2017

OCDSB

Schools

Cycle 1

2016

Cycle 2

2017

Cycle 3

2017

A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School

September 14

February 22

March 22

Alta Vista Public School

November 17

January 18

May 26

Avalon Public School

December 1

(no 2nd cycle required)

June 12

Blossom Park Public School

September 19

March 7

March 27

Broadview Ave. Public School

December 12, 13

February 14

June 19, 20

Carleton Heights Public School

September 20

March 6

March 28

Castor Valley Public School

September 23

February 24

March 31

Cedarview Middle School

October 24, 25 26

January 16, 20

May 1, 2, 3

D. Aubrey Moodie Intermediate School

September 15, 16

January 10

March 23, 24

D.Roy Kennedy Public School

December 9

February 7

June 16

Dunning-Foubert Elementary School

October 11

March 2

April 25

Elizabeth Park Public School

September 28

January 19

April 5

Emily Carr Middle School

October 27

March 3

May 4

Earl Of March Secondary School

November 15, 16, 17

January 13, 25

May 24, 25

June 15, 16

Fallingbrook Elementary School

October 19

January 31

April 26

Featherston Drive Public School

October 14

February 22

April 21

Fielding Drive Public School

September 28

March 6

April 5

Fisher Park Public School & Summit Alternative

November 28, 29, 30

January 27, 31

June 5, 6, 7

Glashan Public School

November 7, 8

January 26, February 22

May 15, 16

Glen Cairn Public School

October 3, 4

January 10

April 10, 11

Goulbourn Middle School

November 21, 22

February 13

May 29, 30

Greenbank Middle School

September 29, 30

February 23

April 6, 7

Hawthorne Public School

September 28

March 2

April 5

Henry Larsen Elementary School

October 17

February 7

April 24

Henry Munro Middle School

November 23, 24

March 1

June 1, 2

Heritage Public School

December 5

February 2

June 8

Hopewell Avenue Public School

September 26

February 24

April 3

Huntley Centennial Public School

October 11

March 8

April 18

J. H. Putman Public School

October 12, 13

February 21

April 19, 20

Jack Donohue Public School

October 20, 21        

January 11

April 27, 28

Kars on the Rideau

November 7, 8

February 24

May 24, 25

Katimavik Elementary School

September 22

February 13

March 30

Longfields-Davidson Heights High School

October 12, 13, 14

February 1, 2

April 19, 20, 21

Maple Ridge Elementary School

December 1

January 31

June 8

Metcalfe Public School

October 26

February 21

May 3

Pinecrest Public School

October 17

February 23

April 24

Queen Elizabeth Public School

October 19

January 12

April 26

Roberta Bondar Public School

September 19, 20

March 8

March 27, 28

Sawmill Creek Elementary School

September 20

February 14

March 28

Sir Winston Churchill Public School

September 15, 16

February 15

April 6, 7

Steve Maclean Elementary School

September 21

February 1

March 29

Stonecrest Elementary School

October 11

March 8

April 18

Summerside Public School (Avalon South)

December 1

January 9

June 13

Terry Fox Elementary School

October 18

February 28

April 25

Trillium Elementary School

September 14

February 23

March 22

Vincent Massey Public School

September 19

February 16

March 24

W. O. Mitchell Elementary School

November 14

February 10

May 23

York Street Public School

November 17

February 16

May 26

Special Programs 

Vaccines for students at these programs will be released to family physicians on an individual basis. Contact Ottawa Public Health for more information at 613-580-6744 or healthsante@ottawa.ca. 

  • First Place
  • Reality Check
  • Clifford Bowey School
  • Crystal Bay Special Education Centre
  • McHugh Program

Ottawa Catholic School Board

OCSB Schedule for 2016-2017

School

Cycle 1

2016

Cycle 2

2017

Cycle 3

2017

All Saints H.S.

November 28, 29, 30

January 11, 23

June 5, 6, 7

Frank Ryan Senior E.S.

October 24, 25

February 21

May 1, 2

Holy Trinity Catholic H.S.

December 1, 2

January 12, 13

June 12, 13

Immaculata H.S.

September 26, 27

February 24

April 3, 11

Lester B. Pearson Catholic H.S.

October 27, 28

March 1

May 4, 5

Mother Teresa H.S.

November 23, 24, 25

March 6

May 31 June 1, 2

Notre Dame H.S.

October 31, November 1 

March 2

May 8, 10

Sacred Heart H.S.

December 7, 8, 9

February 9, 10

June 14, 15, 16

St. Francis Xavier H.S.

December 5, 6, 7

January 19, March 10

June 12, 13, 14

St. Joseph H.S.

September 21, 22, 23

January 18, February 17

March 29, 30, 31

St. Mark H.S.

September 12, 13

February 27

March 20, 21

St. Matthew H.S.

November 2, 3

February 6

May 11, 12

St. Michael, Fitzroy School

October 11

March 8

April 18

St. Patrick’s I.S.

November 9, 10

March 9

May 17, 18

St. Paul H.S.

October 5, 6

March 1

April 12, 13

St. Peter H.S.

October 17, 18, 19

February 28, March 10

April 24, 25, 26

Independent Schools

Schedule for 2016-2017

Ottawa Independent Schools / Écoles indépendantes d’Ottawa

Cycle 1

Premier cycle/

2016

 

 

Cycle 2

Deuxième cycle/

2017

 

 

Cycle 3

Troisième cycle/

2017

Abraar School 

November 4

February 13

May 24

Ahlul-Bayt Islamic School

October 21

January 17

April 28

Ashbury College

November 4

March 9

May 19

Elmwood  School 

October 21

January 17

May 19

Heritage Academy

December 13

January 24

June 19

Joan of Arc Academy 

September 15

February 3 

May 15

Lycée Claudel

September 27

March 9

April 4

MacDonald Cartier Academy 

December 2

February 8

June 9

Ottawa Christian School

September 23

February 15

March 31

Ottawa Jewish Community School

October 6

February 14

April 25

Ottawa Islamic School

October 4

February 6

April 11

The Element

December 13

January 24

June 22

Torah Day School of Ottawa

November 16

January 30

May 23

Turnbull School

October 20

March 6

April 28

Westboro Academy

October 3

January 30

April 10

Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CÉCCE)

Schedule for 2016-2017

 

Cycle 1

Premier CYCLE

2016

Cycle 2

Deuxième CYCLE

2017

Cycle 3

Troisième CYCLE

2017

 

Collège catholique Franco-Ouest (Pavillon) 

October 20, 21

February 3

April 27, 28

École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard (Pavillon) 

September

29, 30

February 27

May 25, 26

École secondaire catholique

Garneau (Pavillon)   

October 5, 6

February 7

April 12, 13

Collège catholique

Samuel-Genest  (Pavillon)

November

9, 10

January 12

May 17, 18

École secondaire catholique

Béatrice-Desloges (Pavillon)

September

12, 13, 14

January 26,30

March

 20, 21, 22

École secondaire catholique

Franco-Cité (Pavillon)

October 31, November 1

February 16

May 8, 10

Paul Desmarais

December 5, 6

February 9

June 8, 9

Collège catholique Mer Bleue

December

12, 13

April 4

June 19, 20

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CÉPEO)

Schedule for 2016-2017

 

Cycle 1

Premier CYCLE

2016

Cycle 2

Deuxième CYCLE

2017

Cycle 3

Troisième CYCLE

2017

Écoles secondaire publique Gisèle-Lalonde (Pavillon)

November

2, 3

February 6

May 11, 16

École secondaire publique Omers- Deslauriers (Pavillon)

November 14

February 15

May 23

École secondaire publique Louis-Riel (Pavillon)

October 28

March 3

May 5

École secondaire publique De-La- Salle (Pavillon)

November 21, 22, 23

January 17

May

29, 30, 31

Maurice Lapointe

September 16

January 16

March 24

Ecole Kanata

September 15

March 3

March 23

Trille des Bois December 14 February 23

June 19

Catch-up clinics (for Hepatitis B, Meningococcal and HPV vaccines only)

Students who miss their school’s immunization clinic can receive the Hepatitis B, Meningococcal or HPV vaccination at a catch-up clinic BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please call 613-580-6744 to book an appointment.

Reducing Pain During Vaccination

Child blowing bubbles while being vaccinatedVaccines help to keep children healthy by protecting them against seriousinfections. However, vaccinations may be painful and may cause stress for you and your child. It is important that you stay calm and provide encouragement to your child when they are being vaccinated. Some of the tips listed below may also help to reduce your child’s fear of injections and pain during vaccinations. 

Tips for Infants

Breastfeed

  • Breastfeed your baby five minutes before the injection, as well as during and after vaccinations, to reduce pain and to provide comfort.

Infant being vaccinated while breastfeeding, held front-to-front.

Hold comfortably

  • Hold the baby close to your body, in a front-to-front position with both legs exposed. This reassuring close contact can help to reduce pain. 
  • For babies 12 months of age or less, who are not breastfed, give a few drops of sugar solution (on the tip of the infant’s tongue) one minute before the injection. Repeat administration of a few drops of sugar solution just before the injection. The sweet solution provides a few minutes of pain relief during vaccination.
  • Purchase a pre-mixed sugar solution at a pharmacy or prepare one at home by mixing 5 mL (one teaspoon) sugar with 10 mL (two teaspoons) water. Do not use honey.
  • Never use sugar water at home to calm a fussy or crying baby, as this can lead to tooth decay.
  • Feed the baby or give sips of water to clean the baby’s mouth after vaccination.

Offer sugar water

  • For babies 12 months of age or less, who are not breastfed, give a few drops of sugar solution (on the tip of the infant’s tongue) one minute before the injection. Repeat administration of a few drops of sugar solution just before the injection. The sweet solution provides a few minutes of pain relief during vaccination.
  • Purchase a pre-mixed sugar solution at a pharmacy or prepare one at home by mixing 5 mL (one teaspoon) sugar with 10 mL (two teaspoons) water. Do not use honey.
  • Never use sugar water at home to calm a fussy or crying baby, as this can lead to tooth decay.
  • Feed the baby or give sips of water to clean the baby’s mouth after vaccination.

Tips for Toddlers and Older Children

Prepare your child ahead of time

  • Read stories about what happens when you visit the doctor.
  • Offer an honest explanation about the procedure:  Prepare young children (under 4 years of age) just before the injection; prepare older children the day before.
  • Describe how vaccination will feel (e.g. like a pinch).
  • Tell your child what they can do to ease the pain (e.g. sit still, breath deeply, relax the arm).
  • Draw your child’s attention away from the needle. This is one of the best ways that you can help your child. 
  • Use age-appropriate tactics that may help to distract your child, such as a favourite toy or blanket, a book, music, singing, or telling a joke or a story.

Child being vaccinated while watching a pinwheel.Distract your child

  • Draw your child’s attention away from the needle. This is one of the best ways that you can help your child. 
  • Use age-appropriate tactics that may help to distract your child, such as a favourite toy or blanket, a book, music, singing, or telling a joke or a story.
  • Tell your child to take a deep breath and to blow it out slowly. Blowing bubbles or blowing on a pinwheel can help also. 

Position your child in an upright position

Child held by parent and facing front

  • Hold your toddler or young children securely in a comforting hug, sitting upright on your lap, facing forward, or facing you (front to front), with the arm exposed.  Lying flat on their back during an injection, or being held too tightly, can be scary for children and can increase their fear. Older children can sit alone if they wish, with the arm exposed.
  • If your child continues to move, ask your healthcare provider about the proper hold technique that is safest for your child.

Tips for Teens

Young boy texting while getting needle

Offer helpful distractions such as engaging your teen in a conversation, listening to music with earphones, playing games or texting on a cell phone. 

For older children and teens who are very fearful, consider medications that numb the skin

  • Talk to your health care provider about creams such as EMLA® or Ametop® that can help numb the skin. They are available without a prescription.
  • Ask your health care provider to show you the right locations to apply the cream. Keep in mind that, on some visits, more than one injection may be given. Read the instructions before applying the product. It must be on the skin 30 to 60 minutes before the injection(s). 

Offering praise and a reward after vaccinations can help children and teens of all ages! 

Child getting stickers as a reward.

For more information: 

Ottawa Public Health:
Phone: 613-580-6744
Email:  immunization@ottawa.ca

CHEO: For more information contact Dr. Denise Harrison: dharrison@cheo.on.ca

Sick Kids Toronto: www.aboutkidshealth.ca/pain-free-injections

Video: It Doesn’t Have to Hurt, prepared by the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, N.S.

Flu Clinics 2016-2017

Residents can also get their flu vaccine at their health care providers office, family doctor, participating pharmacies and community clinics. It is recommended residents contact participating pharmacies to ensure hours of service.

Learn more about the flu before you visit a clinic.

Ottawa Public Health community clinics 

Date Location Address Time
Saturday, October 29 All Saints Catholic High School 5115 Kanata Avenue, Kanata 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tuesday, November 1 Mother Teresa Catholic High School 440 Longfields Drive, Nepean 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 2 Fred Barrett Arena 3280 Leitrim Road, Ottawa 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 3  St. Pius X High School 1481 Fisher Avenue, Ottawa 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 École secondaire catholique Béatrice Desloges 1999 Provence Ave., Orleans 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Monday, November 7 West Carleton Community Complex   5670 Carp Road, Kinburn 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 8 Osgoode Township High School 2800 Eight Line Road, Metcalfe 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 9 Sacred Heart Catholic High School 5870 Abbott Street E, Stittsville 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 10 Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre 2300 Community Way, North Gower 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Monday, November 14 Ottawa City Hall 110 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, November 15 South Carleton High School 3673 McBean Street, Richmond 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 16 Greely Community Centre 1448 Meadow Drive, Greely 3:30 – 7:30 p.m. 

Flu clinics in local hospitals

Date Location Address Time
Tuesday, November 1 Montfort Hospital 713 Montreal Road 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p. m.
Wednesday, November 2 Queensway Carleton Hospital 3045 Baseline Road 4 – 8 p.m.
Thursday, November 3 Royal Ottawa Hospital 1145 Carling Avenue 1:30 – 6:30 p.m
Monday, November 7 Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) 401 Smyth Road 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wednesday, November 16 The Perley and Rideau Veterans Health Centre 1750 Russell Road 2:30-7:30 p.m

Special clinics for children under 5 years old

Ottawa Public Health will continue to offer free appointment-based clinics for children 6 months to under 5 years old and their families until mid February, 2017. Children under 5 years old have the highest rate of serious illness.  It is even more important for them to get the flu vaccine. To register your child under 5, call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).

Participating pharmacies in Ottawa

Visit the Ontario flu website and enter your postal code or address to find the nearest location where you can get your flu vaccine.

Use the map to find an Ottawa Public Health community flu clinic or hospital flu clinic near you.

Seasonal Flu FAQ

What is the flu?

“The flu,” more properly known as seasonal influenza, is a common and very contagious infection. The flu affects the nose, throat, and lungs. It is spread through droplets that have been coughed or sneezed by someone who has the flu. You can get the flu by shaking hands with someone who has the flu or by touching surfaces that have come into contact with flu droplets, and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Flu symptoms include a sudden fever or feeling feverish as well as a cough and/or a sore throat. It is common to also have a runny or stuffy nose, head- or body-aches, and chills.  You may feel more tired than usual and have a lower appetite. Some people (mostly children) also have nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. 

What can I do to prevent the flu?

Your best shot at beating the flu is by getting your flu vaccine. The earlier you get the vaccine, the better your chances are to prevent it. The flu is a serious viral infection that can have severe complications. Anyone can get the flu virus. The flu is not just a cold. You could miss school, work, parties, holidays, or even end up in the hospital.

The flu vaccine helps your body help itself. The vaccine will trigger your body to fight off infection if you come into contact with the flu. This means you either will not get the flu, or the symptoms will be greatly reduced. Different flu viruses can affect people every year, so the vaccine needs to be updated annually. This is why it is important to be immunized each fall.

Each year, different strains of the flu virus appear. Scientists predict which strains will be most likely to affect us for the coming year. These strains are used to make up the year's flu vaccine. This year’s flu vaccines are made to protect you against three different flu viruses for the flu vaccine administered to adult and four different flu viruses for the vaccine administered to children 6 months to 17 years of age:

  • Two influenza A viruses (an H1N1 and an H3N2) and
  • Two influenza B virus.

Getting your flu vaccine is good for everyone. When more people get their flu vaccine, the odds of the flu virus spreading goes down. This protects those who are most vulnerable such as children under five, adults 65 years or older, pregnant women, as well as those living with chronic health conditions like diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. The flu shot prevents about 300 deaths and 1,000 hospitalizations each year in Ontario.

You can also stop the spread of the flu by following a few easy steps.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm, not your hand.
  • Avoid crowds, public gathering and stay at home if you are sick.
  • Do not visit hospitalized patients if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Is the flu vaccine safe?

The flu vaccine has been proven to be safe for anyone 6 months of age or older. Children under 5 years old have the highest rate of serious illness, which means it is even more important for them to get the flu vaccine. Children aged 6 to 9 years have the highest rate of flu. They are considered to be the “big spreaders.” Get your child the flu vaccine as early as possible to protect your family.

Where can I get my flu vaccine?

It is easier than ever to get your flu vaccine. Anyone aged six months and older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario is eligible to receive the publicly funded flu vaccine.

You can get your flu vaccine from: 

  • Your primary care provider or family doctor
  • Your local pharmacist.
  • Ottawa Public Health has community clinics, including special clinics for children under 5 years old and their families.

To find a flu clinic close to you, visit the Ontario flu website (www.ontario.ca/flu). Just enter your postal code or address. Remember to call ahead to check hours of service. 

What options do I have for the type of flu vaccine I receive?

The flu vaccine program is publicly funded, which means that it is provided at no cost through your healthcare provider, pharmacist, or Ottawa Public Health community clinic. Anyone aged six months and older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario is eligible to receive the publicly funded influenza vaccine. The type of vaccine that is publicly funded is usually given intramuscularly. This means that the vaccine is given using a needle, which is injected into a muscle. This option is suitable for most Ottawa residents.

There is an alternative option to the injected flu vaccine that is part of Ontario’s publicly funded program. FluMist® is a needle-free way of receiving the flu vaccine. It has been approved for people aged 2 to 17 years. A fine mist is sprayed into your nose rather than getting a needle. Ask your healthcare provider, pharmacist, or Ottawa Public Health Nurse for more information if you feel that this option might be best for you.

Special clinics for children under 5 years old

Ottawa Public Health offers free appointment-based clinics for children 6 months to under 5 years old and their families. Children under 5 years old have the highest rate of serious illness.  It is even more important for them to get the flu vaccine. To register your child under 5, call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).

How can my workplace organize a flu clinic?

Setting up a flu clinic at your workplace can be easy. Your first step is to contact a local health care agency in your area. Visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s page for workplaces to find out more.

Workplaces that have an occupational health department can organize a clinic themselves with their own equipment. The application for the 2016-17 period is now closed. The registration period is typically open for one month starting in June. For more information about registering for the Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIPP), please visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care’s UIIP information page.

What is the difference between a cold and flu?

Many people confuse the terms “cold” and “flu.” Influenza (flu) is a serious viral infection. The flu is not just a cold. You could miss school, work, parties, holidays, or even end up in the hospital. Below is a list of common symptoms of the flu compared with a common cold.

Symptom

Influenza (Flu)

Cold

Fever

Frequent
Usually high
Last 3-4 days

Rare

Headache

Frequent
Can be severe

Rare

Aches & Pain

Frequent
Often severe

Rare

Weakness

Moderate to severe
Can last up to 1 month

Not common
Mild

Extreme fatigue

Frequent
Can be severe

Not common

Sniffles or Sneezes

Sometimes

Common

Sore throat

Common

Common

Cough

Usual
Can be severe

Sometimes
Mild to moderate

Complications

Pneumonia or worsening
of underlying medical conditions
which can be life-threatening

Sinus or ear infection

What can I do to ease symptoms if I have the flu?

If you have flu-like symptoms, including a fever, a cough, severe headache and/or chills, be sure to:

  • Rest.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Take basic pain or fever relievers.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Gargle with a glass of warm water or suck on hard candy or lozenges.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco.

If I have the flu, when should I call my doctor?

Contact your doctor if symptoms are severe and do not improve after a few days.

Call your health care provider right away if you have flu symptoms and you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have a chronic health problem that requires regular medical attention
  • Are elderly or frail
  • Have an illness or are receiving treatments – for example, for diabetes, cancer, or HIV/AIDS – that might affect your immune system
  • Have a child under three months of age who has a fever over 38° C or 100.4° F

There are many ways to get non-emergency medical care. Trained professionals from Telehealth Ontario and the Ottawa Public Health Information line can answer your questions by phone, and family doctors, nurses and other health care providers can provide care.

For the latest public health information, you can contact Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656) or on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth). To reach Telehealth Ontario, call 1-866-797-0000