Public Health Nurses offer child health clinics designed to give parents an opportunity to learn about the healthy development of their children in their early years as well as provide specific services such as immunization. Clinics are regularly scheduled throughout the region.
Child health clinics provide:
• physical examination
• information on child care, parenting and family planning
• immunization against disease
• assessment of the child’s health and development
• information about healthy lifestyle choices
Immunization is one of the greatest achievements of medicine and has spared millions of people the effects of devastating diseases. Before vaccines became widely available, infectious diseases killed thousands of children and adults each year. Although many of these diseases have the potential to be eliminated, outbreaks of diphtheria, measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases still occur among people who are not immunized, causing illness and some cases permanent disability or death.
Immunization is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting children and adults against certain diseases before they come into contact with them. It relies on the body’s natural defense mechanism – the immune response – to build resistance to infection.
Be Wise - Immunize!
Childhood immunization: It is recommended that children receive a primary series of vaccinations in order to build up resistance to several diseases. This series should be given starting at 2 months of age to ensure the best protection. Infants and preschoolers can receive their vaccinations at child health clinics offered by Public Health Nurses throughout the region.
Check out: A Parent’s Guide to Immunization
School entry (4-6 years): Prior to starting Kindergarten, children need another immunization to boost the protection that started with the primary series.
Grade 4 school-based program: To prevent Hepatitis B, a series of three needles over a period of a few months is provided to children in Grade 4 beginning in the fall of the school year. Meningococcal C vaccine (meningitis) is also offered.
Grade 6 school-based program: To prevent Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a major cause of cervical cancer, a series of three needles over a period of a few months is provided to girls in Grade 6 beginning in the fall of the schoolyear.
Grade 8 or 9 school-based program: When children reach the ages of 14 to 16 years, they should receive a booster of diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (Tdap vaccine).
For school-based immunization programs, consent forms and vaccine fact sheets are sent home advising parents or legal guardians that the vaccinations are available at school if they sign the consent form.
Adult Immunization: Once the routine vaccinations of childhood are over, it’s easy to forget about the need for immunization when we become adults.
Adults should receive tetanus immunizations every 10 years. Adults may also receive a pertussis immunization, if never previously received.
Many adults need to be immunized because of high-risk medical conditions.
Lifestyle, travel and occupation also affect when and what types of immunizations are needed. HPV immunization is also provided to females 9 to ≤26 years with an increased risk of getting HPV, as HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer.
Immunization against Hepatitis B is also recommended for those who are sexually active and have tested positive for a sexually transmitted infection or who meet the ‘high risk’ guidelines as outlined by Manitoba Health.
Seasonal Influenza Immunization: Community-based “flu clinics” are held every fall throughout the region for those who meet the eligibility criteria determined by Manitoba Health. People over 65 years of age are also eligible to receive the Pneumococcal Vaccine.
Recommended immunization resources:
Manitoba Health fact sheets
Canadian Coalition for Immunization and Promotion/Canadian Public Health Association
Canadian Pediatric Society