Description

The Québec Immunization Program aims to improve the population’s health by offering certain vaccines for free. These vaccines protect against specific diseases. The Québec Immunization Program includes various free and voluntary vaccination programs.

The decision to offer a free vaccine as part of the Immunization Program depend on analysis of several criteria, including:

  • The disease targeted by the vaccine, especially regarding:
    • Its seriousness
    • Its consequences
    • Its frequency
    • The number of people that catch it
    • Population groups affected
  • The existence of other methods to prevent the disease
  • The effectiveness and safety of the vaccine
  • The objectives to achieve, for example, the urgency with which the disease needs to be controlled
  • The comparison between costs of the vaccination, and the medical and social costs associated with the disease and its complications
  • The vaccine’s acceptance by the public and health professionals
  • The availability of human and financial resources
  • The availability of the vaccine

The Immunization Program includes ongoing monitoring and evaluation measures, the application of which allows achieved success to be quantified, problems to be discovered and resolved, and programs to be adjusted as needed.

List of Diseases Covered by the Immunization Program

The vaccines currently offered in the Québec Immunization Program protect against the following illnesses:

Eligibility

Anyone can receive vaccines listed in the recommended immunization schedule for free.

Some people can also receive other vaccines for free due to their health, lifestyle or work. Consult your doctor or CLSC to find out which vaccines you are eligible to receive for free.

Cost

Vaccines covered by the Québec Immunization Program are given free of charge to eligible persons.

Other vaccines may be recommended. Some of these vaccines are not free.

Procedure

The procedure to follow in order to get vaccinated varies by region.

To find out how to proceed and where to get vaccinated, contact your CLSC or your doctor. To know their contact info, see the Finding a Resource section. You can also call Info-Santé 811 to know the vaccination location nearest you.

Do not forget to bring your immunization card with you to the appointment. The immunization card is generally given at birth or at the first vaccination appointment.

Make sure your vaccination is always up to date. If you go on a trip, you can also consult a vaccination clinic specialising in travel health. To find contact info for travel health clinics, contact your CLSC or your regional public health authority. You can also visit the Health Canada Travel Health This hyperlink will open in a new window. page.

Recommended Immunization Schedule

On June 1, 2019, changes will be made to Québec’s immunization schedule. To find out more, go to the Changes to the immunization schedule section.

The Québec immunization schedule includes vaccines offered free of charge under the Québec Immunization Program. Other vaccines may be recommended due to health condition, lifestyle, work, activity or travel.

Several vaccines must be administered during childhood. To best protect your child, do not omit any vaccine, and have them administered at the recommended ages. Children receive their first vaccines from the age of 2 months in order to be protected as soon as possible. Consult the immunization schedules below to know at what age your child should receive other vaccines that are essential for their protection. Your child must receive several doses of certain vaccines to ensure long-term protection. These doses are called ‘booster doses’.

Immunization Schedule for Young Children
Vaccine to prevent:At 2 monthsAt 4 monthsAt 6 monthsAt 12 monthsAt 18 months

Diphtheria-whooping cough-tetanus-hepatitis B-polio-Hib

X

X

 

 

X

Diphtheria-whooping cough-tetanus-polio-Hib  X  

Pneumococcus

X

X

 

X

 

Rotavirus

X

X

 

 

 

Meningococcal C

 

 

 

X

 

Measles-mumps-rubella

 

 

 

X

X

Chicken pox    X
Immunization Schedule for School-age Children
Vaccine to prevent:Between 4 and 6 years of age4th year of primary school3rd year of high school

Meningococcal C

  

X

Chicken poxX  

Diphtheria-whooping cough-tetanus-polio

X

 

 

Diphtheria-whooping cough-tetanus  X

Hepatitis A

 

X

 

Hepatitis B

 

X

 

Human papillomavirus

 

X

 

Immunization Schedule for Adults
Vaccine to prevent: 

Pneumococcus

65 years and older

Flu (fall/winter)

Every year from age of 75

Diphtheria-whooping cough-tetanus

  • In each pregnancy, a dose of the  whooping cough vaccine is recommanded (preferably between the 26th and 32nd week)1
  • 10 years after the dose received in the 3rd year of high school
  • Subsequently, the tetanus and diphtheria vaccine is recommended every 10 years
  • 1 The vaccine can be given at other times during pregnancy if it is not possible between the 26th and 32nd week. Consult a doctor or a nurse for more details.

Principles for Establishment of Immunization Schedule

For each vaccine, the immunization schedule is established according to the following principles:

  • The vaccine must be administered at the age when the risk of catching the disease is highest
  • The vaccine must be effective at the age when it is administered
  • The number of doses administered must result in short-term protection
  • The vaccine must be administered at the age when it causes the least symptoms
  • The need and timing for a booster must be evaluated to ensure long-term protection.

Changes to the immunization schedule

A new immunization schedule will come into effect on June 1, 2019. The new schedule is for children in good health who were born on or after June 1, 2019.

Why change the immunization schedule?

With the current immunization schedule, parents have to make numerous appointments and some end up putting off—or refusing—the administration of certain vaccines.

Based on the most recent data, Québec’s experts have concluded that the immunization schedule for healthy children could be simplified while providing the necessary protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. The new schedule reduces the number of appointments needed, which makes it easier for parents to stick to the schedule.

What’s new with the new immunization schedule?

  • The immunization against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, hepatitis B, polio, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infections now comes in 3 doses instead of 4. This does away with the need for an immunization visit at 6 months.
  • The vaccine against meningococcus C is administered at 18 months.
  • The vaccine against varicella is administered at 12 and 18 months along with a vaccine against measles, rubella, mumps, and varicella.
  • A vaccine against hepatitis A and B is administered at 18 months.

The new immunization schedule will be posted on this page at a later date.