All posts in Immunization

Children’s Health

Children’s Health

There are many excellent resources available for information about Children’s Health.

Check out these sites:

 

Child Development Resource Connection Peel
Information on child care, resources, training and services for children with special needs

Pep Start Clinics 
PEP-Start Clinic is a drop-in, no-fee clinic designed for families with children newborn up to 5 years of age who live in Peel. PEP-Start offers parents the opportunity to consult with professionals from community agencies in any or all the following:

  • Speech and Language
  • Parenting & Behaviour
  • Preschool Development
  • Infant/Toddler Development
  • Health & Nutrition

Erin Oak Kids
Erin Oak Kids provides a comprehensive range of family-centred treatment, rehabilitation and support services to children with disabilities and their families who reside in Dufferin, Halton, Peel, Waterloo and Wellington in areas such as:

  • Autism
  • Speech and Language
  • Hearing
  • Vision Services
  • Developmental Paediatrics
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy

Peel Children’s Centre
Peel Children’s Centre offers many excellent treatment services for children, teenagers, and families who are having serious issues with relationships, feelings, or behaviour.

Tangerine
Tangerine Walk-In Counselling is a free service for children, youth and families who live in the Peel Region.

Infant and Child Development Services Peel
This program specializes in providing services and resources for families with children 0-6 years old who are at risk of, or have a delay in his or her development.

Canadian Paediatric Society
This great resource from the National Association of Paediatricians  in Canada contains lots of information about children’s health, patient information, diet information, immunizations, guidelines, and resources for children.

Caring for Kids
This is an excellent site published by the Canadian Pediatric Society.  It contains information about Pregnancy and Babies (including feeding your baby in the first year, developmental milestones), Healthy Bodies, Keeping Kids Safe, Growing and Learning, Infections and Illnesses, Behaviour and Parenting, Teen Health, and Tips and Checklists.

 

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Immunizations

Immunizations

Immunization if a safe and proven way to protect us from many preventable diseases.  It reduces death and disability, medical costs, and hospital admissions.  Side effects are very rare and minor, and are much less than the diseases they prevent.  Vaccination is simply a process of giving us a small exposure to a disease without getting sick, so that our body can build up protection to the disease.  It’s like exercise for our immune system, so it can be ready to fight the disease if we are really exposed to the illness.

You may hear or read about many different opinions regarding immunization.  You may also have questions about the need for immunization, its safety or side effects.  Please chose credible information that is evidence based when making your decision about immunization.  Here are some references for evidence-based information about vaccination:

 

Evidence-Based Information About Vaccination

 

*Track all your Vaccinations with the new app from Health Canada – ImmunizeCA

Peel Health

Public Health Canada

A Parent’s Guide to Immunization, Wesbite, Health Canada

A Parent’s Guide To Immunization, Handout, Health Canada

Canadian Immunization Schedule

Immunize Canada

Centre For Disease Control, USA

 

Vaccines are safe

(*from Health Canada Website)

Vaccines are safe, with huge benefits to children’s health – all through their lives. Severe reactions from vaccines are extremely rare and are reported immediately to the Public Health Agency of Canada so that any problems can be dealt with quickly.

Safer than diseases they prevent

Vaccines in Canada are effective and safe–much safer than the 13 diseases they prevent. These diseases can lead to pneumonia, deafness, brain damage, heart problems, blindness, paralysis and carry a risk of life-long disability or death.

Rigorous research is ongoing

Vaccines are continuously monitored and tested around the world and in Canada before they are approved for use. Canada has several systems in place to keep a watchful eye on any reports of unusual, adverse side effects following immunizations.

False fears about harmful effects

All parents have questions about the risks associated with immunization. Some people worry that vaccines can cause health problems, such as autism or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Expert research committees in Canada and around the world have investigated reports of serious effects over many years. They have found no evidence of a link between vaccines and autism or any other illnesses.

Should you experience an adverse event following immunization, please ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to complete the Adverse Events following Immunization (AEFI) Form.

 

Vaccine Preventable Diseases

(*from Peel Health Website)

For more information on Vaccine Preventable Diseases:
Public Health Agency of Canada: Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial disease of the nose, throat and skin. It causes sore throat, fever and chills. Diphtheria can also cause breathing problems, heart failure, nerve damage and death.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a bacterial infection that causes severe spells of coughing. It is also known as whopping cough due to the sound children make when trying to catch their breath between coughing spells. The disease is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. It could cause pneumonia (lung infection), convulsions, brain damage or death, especially in young babies.

Tetanus (Lockjaw)

Tetanus is a disease caused by a bacterial spore that lives in soil and can infect wounds. It causes muscles of the body to go into painful spasms, and can be fatal when muscles in the chest wall or throat are involved. It is also referred to as Lockjaw because the painful muscle contractions begin in the neck.

Polio

Polio is caused by a virus that destroys nerve cells. Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. This virus can lead to paralysis, inflammation of the brain and death.

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)

Hib is a bacteria that can infect any part of the body. It can cause serious infections including meningitis, pneumonia, ear, bone and joint infections.

Measles (Red Measles)

Measles is a virus that causes a generalized rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and white spots inside of the mouth. It can cause diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia and inflammation of the brain.

Mumps

Mumps is a virus that causes fever, headache and painful swelling of one or more of the salivary glands (located in your cheek, near your jaw line, below your ears). Sometimes mumps can be more serious and cause swelling of the brain or its protective surface (encephalitis or meningitis). It can also cause temporary or permanent deafness or swelling of the testes or ovaries, resulting in infertility.

Rubella (German Measles)

Rubella (German Measles) is a virus that causes low-grade fever, sore throat, mild rash and swelling of the glands, as well as painful and swollen joints. When a woman gets rubella during pregnancy, it can cause miscarriage or severe disability for the baby.

Influenza (Flu)

Influenza is a serious respiratory infection that is caused by the influenza virus. It may cause headache, muscle pain, high fever, cough and chills. It may also cause pneumonia, middle ear infections, heart failure or death.

Colds, “stomach flu” and other viral infections are often confused with the flu but they are caused by viruses different from the flu virus. The flu is spread easily through coughing, sneezing or touching contaminated surfaces or objects. Flu strains change from year to year, so annual flu shots are recommended.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

Chickenpox is caused by a virus that causes fluid filled blisters and low-grade fever. Complications of chickenpox can include skin infections, pneumonia, ear infections, arthritis, inflammation of the brain and in some cases, death. Chickenpox is highly contagious and is easily spread through the air or by direct contact with the chickenpox blisters and the fluid from the blisters.

Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal Disease is caused by bacteria that invade the lungs causing pneumonia and infections of the ears, lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can be fatal in people with certain chronic medical conditions and in the elderly.

Rotavirus

Rotavirus is a common infection in infants and children that causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea. It usually affects children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. Most children will develop this infection at least once by the age of 5. The infection may cause severe dehydration.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver that can cause liver failure, liver cancer and death. Some people who develop hepatitis B have no symptoms, but can carry the virus and transmit the virus to others, while others develop flu-like symptoms such as nausea and fatigue.

Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria that can lead to serious diseases, including meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and meningococcemia (infection of the blood). It can also cause deafness, seizures, brain damage and death. The bacteria, commonly found in the nose and throat of healthy people (carriers), is spread by activities where saliva can be shared, such as kissing or sharing a drink.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is a viral infection spread by skin-to-skin contact. Certain types of HPV can cause warts on the skin, genital warts, cell changes to the cervix or cervical cancer. Four strains of the virus are responsible for 70 per cent of cervical cancers and 90 per cent of genital warts.

 

What To Expect After Immunization

(*From Peel Health Website)

Vaccines are safe and effective. For most people, there are no side effects after immunization.

  • Minor local side effects may occur, but usually last only a few days.
  • Local reactions may include redness, soreness, swelling or itchiness at the injection site.
  • Occasionally, tiredness and/or muscle aches, headache and/or slight fever may result.
  • Severe reactions are very rare and may include trouble breathing, swelling or the face or mouth, hives or a fever over 39oC.

You should always discuss the benefits and risks of any vaccine with your health care professional.

Report severe reactions to your doctor and Peel Public Health at
905-799-7700.

 

Immunization Schedule

(*From Peel Health Website)

Routine immunization typically begins in infancy at two months of age; but remember, it’s never too late to begin or complete an immunization series. Ask your doctor or call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700, to discuss immunization needs.

Learn more information about vaccine preventable diseases.

 

Immunizations for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers

Required immunizations for daycare or preschool:

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio and Haemophilus Influenzae B vaccine (DTaP-IPV-Hib)
The DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine is given at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months of age. Hib vaccine is not recommended for children 5 years of age or older.

Note: Polio vaccine can be IPV (injectable) or OPV (oral). Children with immunization records from other countries may have OPV recorded.

Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)
The first dose of MMR must be given on or after the first birthday. Children are required to have two doses of MMR vaccine given at least 28 days apart. The second dose of MMR is routinely given in combination with the second recommended dose of varicella* (chicken pox). This vaccine is called MMRV and is given at 4 to 6 years of age (preferably prior to school entry) – see immunizations for school-aged children.

Children may be immunized with MMR and varicella as separate vaccines if there are existing medical reasons or if the child will be travelling outside Canada prior to his/her fourth birthday. Please consult your physician or contact Peel Public Health for more information.

*Please note that the varicella component of the MMRV falls under the recommended vaccines list below.

Recommended immunizations:

Influenza
All individuals, starting at 6 months of age, are eligible to receive this vaccine. Previously unvaccinated children 6 months to less than 9 years of age require two doses of influenza vaccine, given four weeks apart. Children under 9 years of age who have already received one or more doses of influenza vaccine in the past are recommended to receive one dose per season thereafter.

Meningococcal C (Men C)
Children 1 year of age should receive a single dose. Unimmunized persons remain eligible for a single dose of Men C if they were 1 year of age on or after September 2004; or born between 1986 and 1996.

Pneumococcal
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is available for infants and children and protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. It is routinely given at 2 and 4 months with a booster dose at 12 months of age.

Rotavirus
Rotavirus ORAL vaccine is offered for infants 6-24 weeks of age. It is routinely given at 2 and 4 months of age. The first dose can be given as early as 6 weeks and as late as 20 weeks of age. Both doses must be completed by 24 weeks of age. A minimum of 4 weeks is required between doses.

Varicella (Chickenpox)
Varicella vaccine can be given as early as 12 months. Children born on or after January 1, 2000 can receive the recommended two doses for free. The second dose of varicella is routinely given as the combined MMRV vaccine at 4 to 6 years of age (preferably prior to school entry) – see immunizations for school-aged children.

 

Immunizations for School-Aged Children

Required immunizations:

Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis and Polio (DTaP-IPV)
The DTaP-IPV vaccine is routinely given at 4 to 6 years of age (4 to 6 year booster).

Note: Polio vaccine can be IPV (injectable) or OPV (oral). Children with immunization records from other countries may have OPV recorded.

Measles/Mumps/Rubella and Varicella (MMRV) Vaccine
Children are required to have two doses of MMR given at least 28 days apart. The second dose of MMR is routinely given in combination with the second recommended dose of varicella* (chicken pox). This combined vaccine is called MMRV and is given at 4 to 6 years of age (preferably prior to school entry).

Children 7 to 11 years of age who have not received any doses of MMR or varicella may receive two doses of MMRV.

*Please note that the varicella component of MMRV falls under the recommended vaccines list below.

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap)
Students are required to have their adolescent tetanus and diphtheria booster given 10 years after the 4 to 6 year booster. It is recommended that all adolescents 14 to 16 years of age receive their adolescent booster as a single dose of Tdap, which includes additional protection against acellular pertussis.

Children aged 7 years and older who missed their 4 to 6 year booster dose of DTaP-IPV can receive Tdap plus IPV vaccine either combined or given separately, depending on vaccine supply.

Recommended immunizations:

Hepatitis B (Hep B)
Hep B vaccine is offered in a two-dose schedule to students in grade 7 at school-based immunization clinics.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV vaccine is offered in a three-dose schedule to female students in grade 8 at school-based immunization clinics.

Influenza
All individuals, starting at 6 months of age, are eligible to receive this vaccine. Previously unvaccinated children 6 months to less than 9 years of age require two doses of influenza vaccine, given four weeks apart. Children under 9 years of age who have already received one or more doses of influenza vaccine in the past are recommended to receive one dose per season thereafter.

Meningogcoccal ACYW-135 (Men ACYW-135)
Men ACYW-135 vaccine is offered to students in grade 7 at school-based immunization clinics. Only one dose is needed.

Varicella (Chickenpox)
Children born on or after January 1, 2000 can receive the recommended two doses for free. The second dose of varicella is routinely given as the combined MMRV vaccine at 4 to 6 years of age (preferably prior to school entry). Children who have already received two doses of the MMR vaccine and one dose of the varicella vaccine can receive a second dose of varicella.

 

Immunization Schedule for Adults

(*From Peel Health Website)

Immunization is one of the most effective public health interventions. Every year immunizations save many people from death or disability, and help reduce medical care costs and hospital admissions. Immunization is a lifelong process of preventing infection and disease.

We do our best to protect our children, but we also have to remember to protect ourselves. Adults should receive all doses of vaccines recommended to them. Immunizations are recommended based on your occupation, travel, underlying medical conditions, environment, lifestyle and age.

Some vaccines are free through your health care provider. Make sure you’re protected.

Vaccine Who should receive it?
Tetanus
Diphtheria
Everyone, every 10 years
Pertussis
(whooping cough)
Everyone, once in adulthood
Influenza Everyone 6 months of age and older, every year
Polio People who were previously unimmunized who may be exposed to wild polio cases, and health care workers
Pneumococcal Everyone 65 years of age and older
Hepatitis B People with medical, occupational or lifestyle risks and anyone who wants protection from Hepatitis B
Hepatitis A People with medical, occupational or lifestyle risks and anyone who wants protection from Hepatitis A
Meningococcal People with specific medical conditions and people living in residential accommodation including students and military personnel
Measles
Mumps
Rubella
(German measles)
People who have not had the vaccine or the disease
Varicella
(chickenpox)
People who have not had the vaccine or the disease
HPV All females 9 to 45 years of age
All males 9 to 26 years of age
Herpes Zoster
(shingles)
Everyone 60 years of age and older
Travel Vaccines Varies by destination – visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website or go to your local travel clinic

 

*Adapted from the Canadian Immunization Guide 2006, National Advisory Committee on Immunization and Immunize Canada

Learn more information about vaccine preventable diseases.

Recommended Adult Immunizations

Tetanus, Diphtheria (Td)
A booster for Td is recommended every 10 years after the 14 to 16 year old adolescent booster to ensure long-lasting protection against these diseases. This vaccine is publicly funded (free) for all adults.

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)
One lifetime dose of Tdap is recommended for adults 19 to 64 years of age who have not previously received a dose of acellular pertussis vaccine during adolescence. This lifetime dose is free and will replace one of the Td booster doses given every 10 years.

Influenza
All individuals aged 6 months and older who live, work or attend school in Ontario are eligible to receive seasonal influenza vaccine for free.

Polio
Publicly funded for eligible individuals.

Pneumococcal
Adults 65 years of age and older can receive one free dose of 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, which protects against meningitis, septicemia (blood poisoning) and pneumonia caused by 23 strains of the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.

A 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is also available for adults 50 years of age and older. This vaccine provides protection against 13 strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Currently this vaccine is not publicly-funded in Ontario. It is available for purchase with a prescription. Consult your health care provider to discuss which vaccine meets your immunization needs.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
A second dose of MMR is recommended for young adults (18 to 25 years), post secondary students, persons who received killed measles vaccine (1967 to 1970), health care workers or those who plan to travel internationally. This is a live vaccine and should not be given during pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider if you plan on becoming pregnant. This vaccine is publicly funded.

Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Combined hepatitis A/B, and Meningococcal Vaccines
Publicly funded for adults in certain high-risk groups; for more information about high-risk groups, please contact Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700. May be required for certain occupations, travel or educational institutions, however, it is not publicly funded under these circumstances.

Varicella (Chickenpox)
Individuals who have never had the vaccine or chickenpox disease are recommended to receive a 2-dose series of varicella vaccine. This is a live vaccine and should not be given during pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider if you plan on becoming pregnant. This vaccine is only publicly funded for adults in certain high-risk groups.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is given in a 3-dose series and is currently not publicly funded for adults.

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
Recommended for the prevention of herpes zoster and its complications in adults 60 years of age and older. This vaccine is given in one dose and is currently not publicly funded.

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Flu Shots

Flu Shots

Flu shots are an important way to prevent the Flu.  Patients often have many questions about the Flu and the Flu shot, and about benefits vs side effects.

These are the dates and times for the 2015 Streetsville Medical flu shot clinics. These clinics are walk-in only for patients of the Streetsville Medical Clinic. Please bring a valid health card to the clinic.

Thursday, October 29, 2015 @ 5-8pm

Friday, October 30, 2015 @ 12:30-3pm

Saturday, October 31, 2015 @ 8:30-10:30am

Important Facts About the Flu Shot

(reference)

 

How does the Flu Shot work?

The flu shot works by prompting your body to build its natural immunity. Here’s how:

  • You get the flu shot, which contains inactive (dead) flu viruses.
  • When your body comes into contact with the flu – even though the strains are inactive, you make antibodies that fight those viruses—even though they are inactive.
  • You’re now ready to fight off those flu viruses, using your own natural antibodies.

 

Should I get the Flu Shot?

YES, because:

  • Getting a flu shot is the best protection against getting the flu. Studies have found that the flu shot can prevent 60 to 80%* of influenza in healthy adults and children.
  • It reduces the risk of serious flu complications. An Ontario study** showed that every year, the flu shot eliminates 30,000 visits to hospital emergency departments. It also prevents approximately 300 deaths.
  • It’s free. Ontario is one of very few places in the world that offer free flu vaccine every year to its residents.

 

How well does it protect against the Flu?

The flu shot is recommended for everyone over six months of age.

The following people are at greatest risk from the flu — and are strongly encouraged to get the flu shot:

  • people with weakened immune systems
  • young children six months to 59 months of age
  • the elderly
  • pregnant women
  • family members and those who provide care to people in the groups listed above should also get the flu shot to protect themselves and those around them.

When there is a good match between the seasonal flu types in the vaccine and the flu types circulating in the community, the flu shot can prevent the flu in about 60% to 80% of healthy children and adults.

For the elderly, studies have shown that flu shots decrease the incidence of:

  • pneumonia
  • hospital admission
  • death

The flu shot also reduces physician visits, hospitalization and death in high-risk persons less than 65 years of age

It takes about two weeks after the immunization to develop protection against the flu; protection may last up to one year. People who receive the vaccine can still get the flu, but if they do, it is usually milder.

However, the flu shot will not protect against colds and other respiratory illnesses that may be mistaken for the flu but are not caused by the influenza virus.

 

When should I get the Flu Shot?

As soon as possible. It takes about two weeks for your body to develop protection. The earlier you get it, the sooner you’re protected. Flu activity starts in the fall and typically continues until April. The flu shot is available throughout the season.

Basically the flu shot, and all vaccinations, help your body build natural immunities by triggering a natural response from your immune system.

 

How many doses of the Flu Shot do I need?

One every year. Because the flu virus can change every year, you need protection against the types that circulate each year.

Children under 9 years of age who have never had the flu shot require two doses of flu vaccine at least one month apart.

 

Do I have to pay for the Flu Shot?

No. Flu shots are available free of charge to all Ontarians over the age of six months, who live, work or study in Ontario.

The seasonal flu shot is available in physician offices and through flu clinics which may be offered by:

  • public health units
  • community health centres
  • community care access centres
  • public hospitals
  • long-term care homes
  • pharmacies
  • workplace clinics

 

Can the Flu Shot cause the Flu?

No. The vaccine does not contain live viruses so you cannot get the flu from the flu shot.

 

What are the side-effects of the Flu Shot?

The flu shot, like any medicine, is capable of causing side effects. The risk of the vaccine causing serious harm is extremely small.

Most people who get the vaccine have either no side effects or mild side effects at the injection site such as:

  • soreness
  • redness
  • swelling

Life-threatening allergic reactions are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the vaccine. Stay at the clinic for 20 minutes after getting your shot, just to be sure. Health care providers at the clinic are trained to monitor and treat these possible reactions.

If you do have a reaction to the flu shot, report it immediately to your health care provider.

 

Other rare side-effects:

GBS is a not a very common disease, it causes muscle paralysis and has been associated with certain infectious diseases. The risk of getting GBS from the flu is higher than getting GBS from the flu shot.

Overall, the risk of GBS occurring in association with immunization is small. In comparison to the small risk of GBS, the risk of illness and death associated with influenza is much greater.

 

More Information About the Flu Shot

Public Health

Peel Health

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