Under the Québec Immunization Schedule, some vaccines are administered to children at school. They are provided free of charge in Grade 4 of primary school and in Secondary 3 of high school.
The school nurse administers the vaccines to children during vaccination sessions, usually in fall and spring. Parents do not have to take any action and the school provides them with all the information they need.
Consent for Vaccination
In Québec, anyone 14 years of age or over can give their consent for vaccination.
If a child is under 14 years of age, one of his or her parents or guardian must give their consent for vaccination. Consent of one parent is sufficient. If one parent disagrees with the other parent’s decision, a court will have to decide.
In all instances, the school nurse will provide the necessary information about the vaccines that will be administered so that an informed decision can be made.
Before the vaccination session
You can prepare your child for vaccination. To find out more, consult the page Reducing the Pain and Anxiety of Vaccination in Children.
On the day of vaccination
Ask your child to wear a short-sleeved top. Give your child his or her vaccination record and remind him or her to show it at the vaccination session.
If your child is absent on the day of the vaccination, you will still be able to have him or her vaccinated free of charge. Follow the school nurse’s instructions or make an appointment at your local community services centre (CLSC). To find the contact information, consult the page Finding a CLSC.
Some vaccines can be administered at the same time during the same vaccination session. These vaccines are called “multiple injections”. This is a common practice around the world. Scientific studies have shown that it is safe. Therefore, there is no risk for your child in having several vaccines at the same vaccination session. To find out more, consult the section Benefits of Multiple Injections.
Vaccines Administered at School
The vaccine protects against:
The Hepatitis B Immunization Program for children in Grade 4 of primary school was launched in 1994. Since 2008, the Twinrix® vaccine, which protects against both hepatitis B and hepatitis A, has been administered to children. At present, Twinrix® is the only vaccine used in Québec’s school-based Hepatitis B Immunization Program.
Another immunization program aims to protect children in Grade 4 of primary school against human papilloma virus (HPV) infections. The HPV vaccine is recognized as a safe and effective way to prevent cervical cancer. When it was launched in 2008, the HPV Immunization Program was initially intended for young girls in Grade 4 of primary school. Since 2016, the program has also included boys in Grade 4. HPV causes a number of other health problems that affect both men and women. The objective of this immunization program is to protect as many people as possible from the consequences of HPV infections.
The school sends an information leaflet about vaccination to all parents of children in Grade 4 of primary school. A consent form is enclosed with the leaflet. If you have a child in Grade 4 of primary school, you must complete the form and return it to the school.
Your child will be given 2 doses of each vaccine 6 months apart, the 1st dose in fall and the 2nd dose in spring. For children in Grade 4, 2 doses of each vaccine are enough to provide effective protection against HPV infections and hepatitis.
Benefits of vaccination in Grade 4 of primary school
The hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine and HPV vaccine are given in Grade 4 of primary school for the following reasons:
- The immune system responds best to these 2 vaccines between the ages of 9 and 11, when children are in Grade 4.
- It is preferable for children to have the vaccine before they are exposed to these diseases.
- School-based vaccination means that parents do not have to go to a local community services centre (CLSC) or doctor to have their child vaccinated.
The vaccine protects against:
Students in Secondary 3 of high school are 14 years of age or older. They can give their consent to vaccination themselves. Therefore, parents of children in Secondary 3 of high school do not have to sign a consent form for their children.
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Health Canada
- Tout ce qu’il faut savoir sur la vaccination (Everything you need to know about vaccination)
Naître et grandir, Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon (in French only)
- All about HPV
Sex & U
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
- HPV vaccine: What teens need to know
Caring for Kids, Canadian Paediatric Society
- Foire aux questions sur le VPH
(Frequently asked questions about HPV)
Maman pour la vie (in French only)
Last update: 18 September 2017, 10:11