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. All the relevant information will be provided to parents at the start of the school year, through the school.
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. The school nurse can provide parents, upon request, with additional information so that they can make an informed decision.
The consent form must be completed and returned to the school quickly, regardless of whether or not you choose to have your child vaccinated. Consent of one parent is sufficient.
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. Ask him to give his vaccination record to the nurse at the vaccination session if he has not already done so.
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 given at the same time during the same vaccination session. They are called “multiple injections”. This is a common practice around the world. Scientific studies have shown that it is safe. There is no additional risk if several vaccines are given at the same vaccination session instead of just one vaccine.
There are also a number of benefits associated with multiple injections, including fewer vaccination sessions. To find out more, consult the Benefits of Multiple Injections section.
Vaccines administered at school
The vaccine protects against:
Under the Hepatitis B Vaccination Program, you child will be given 2 doses of these vaccines, the 1st dose in fall and the 2nd dose in spring:
- 1 dose of hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine (Twinrix®) to protect him against hepatitis A
- 1 dose of hepatitis B vaccine (Recombivax® or an equivalent vaccine) for long-term protection against hepatitis B
The Hepatitis B Vaccination Program for children in Grade 4 of primary school was launched in 1994. Since 2008, children have been given the Twinrix® vaccine, which protects against both hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Another vaccination program aims to protect children in Grade 4 of primary school against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Your child will be given 2 doses of these vaccines at the same time as the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines:
- 1 dose of HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9®)
- 1 dose of HPV vaccine (Cervarix®)
A letter is usually sent to all parents of children in Grade 3 of primary school. In Grade 4 of primary school, an information leaflet is sent through the school. A vaccination 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 quickly, regardless of whether or not you choose to have your child vaccinated.
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:
In addition to the vaccines scheduled in Secondary 3, the nurse will check if all children’s vaccination is up to date for the following diseases:
- Whooping cough
- Meningococcal serogroup C
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- HPV infections
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Health Canada
- Grade 4 vaccination
Direction de santé publique, Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux des Laurentides
- 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: June 20, 2019