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 depends on the analysis of several criteria based on the disease targeted by the vaccine, in particular relating to:

  • Its seriousness
  • Its consequences
  • Its frequency
  • The number of people that catch it
  • The population groups affected
  • The existence of other methods to prevent the disease
  • The effectiveness and safety of the vaccine
  • The objectives, for example, the urgency with which the disease needs to be controlled
  • The comparison between the costs of vaccination and the medical and social costs associated with the disease and its complications
  • Acceptance of the vaccine 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. Their application allows achievements 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 find their contact information, see the Finding a Resource section. You can also call Info-Santé 811 to find out the vaccination location nearest you.

Do not forget to bring your immunization record with you to your appointment. The immunization record is generally given at birth or at the first vaccination appointment. Information about the vaccines that have been administered will be entered in your vaccination record and in the Québec Vaccination Registry.

Make sure your vaccination is always up to date. If you go on a trip, you can also consult a vaccination clinic specializing in travel health. To find contact information 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 vaccines and have them administered at the recommended ages. Children must receive their first vaccines at 2 months of age in order to be protected as soon as possible.

Principles for establishing the 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 healthy children 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 some doses of vaccines.

Based on the latest 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 changes have been made to the 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 meningococcal C vaccine is administered at 18 months.
  • The varicella vaccine is administered at 12 and 18 months by a combined measles, rubella, mumps, and varicella vaccine.
  • A hepatitis A and B vaccine is administered at 18 months.

Immunization schedules by age group

Consult the immunization schedules below to find out at what age your child should receive vaccines that are essential for their protection. Your child must receive several doses of some vaccines to ensure long-term protection. These doses are called “booster doses”.

The new immunization schedule applies only to infants born on or after June 1, 2019. If your child was born before June 1, 2019, it is important to continue vaccination with the schedule that was recommended for them. Each schedule indicates the number of doses to be administered but also the interval between doses.

Immunization schedule for infants born before June 1, 2019
Vaccine to prevent:At 2 monthsAt 4 monthsAt 6 monthsAt 12 monthsAt 18 months

*Children who were given a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine at 12 months will be given this dose of the varicella vaccine between 4 and 6 years of age.

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

X

X

 

 

X

Diphtheria-tetanus-whooping cough-polio-Hib  X  

Pneumococcus

X

X

 

X

 

Rotavirus

X

X

 

 

 

Meningococcal C

 

 

 

X

 

Measles-mumps-rubella

 

 

 

X

X

Varicella   

X*

X

Accessible version of the immunization schedule for infants born before June 1, 2019

Immunization schedule for school-age children
Vaccine to prevent:Between 4 and 6 years of age4th year of primary school3rd year of high school
Varicella

X

-

-

Diphtheria-tetanus-whooping cough-polio

X

-

-

Hepatitis A-hepatitis B

-

X

-

Human papillomavirus

-

X

-

Diphtheria-tetanus

-

-

X

Meningococcal C

-

-

X

Accessible version of the immunization schedule for school-age children

Immunization schedule for adults
Vaccine to prevent:Recommended age

* The whooping cough vaccine can be given at other times during pregnancy if it is not possible between the 26th and the 32nd week. Consult a doctor or a nurse for more details.

Pneumococcus

65 years and older

Flu (fall/winter)

Every year from age 75

Whooping cough

Pregnant women of all ages, one dose during each pregnancy (ideally between the 26th and the 32nd week)*

Diphtheria-tetanus

One dose at 50 years of age

Accessible version of the immunization schedule for adults