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City of Hamilton - Public Health Services


The Vaccine Program aims to reduce the frequency, severity and impact of vaccine preventable diseases for Hamilton residents.

Why vaccinate?

  • Vaccines save lives, are safe and effective. The benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks of disease.
  • We live in a small world. Travel can spread rare diseases quickly.
  • Some diseases have no proven treatments. For example, diphtheria and meningococcal diseases kill 1 in 10 people who get them.
  • Vaccines are the only way to get protection from some diseases. For example, getting tetanus will not make you immune to tetanus germs found in dust and soil.
  • You can protect yourself and those around you from infections. For example, infants are less likely to get pertussis or flu if their parents and caregivers get the vaccines.
  • Diseases can be eradicated if enough people are immunized. For example, the last case of smallpox was in 1979.

Are vaccines safe?

Vaccines are very safe medical products. The risks of the diseases they prevent are much greater than any risk of the vaccine. Read Vaccine Safety and Adverse Events to learn more about vaccine safety in Canada.

Vaccine Safety is Everyone’s Business is a summary of vaccine safety in Ontario. Access the full report here.

Use this science-based search engine to find reliable vaccine information online:

Information for Health Professionals

Please consult the following sources to inform decisions about vaccinations.

1. The Canadian Immunization Guide (CIG) is produced by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and includes important information about immunization, vaccine safety, considerations for specific populations, active vaccines and passive immunizing agents.

2. The Publicly-Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario specify who is eligible for vaccines free of charge. There is a routine childhood immunization schedule, catch-up schedules, schedules for adolescents and adults and high‑risk criteria.

3. Recommended and Minimum Ages and Intervals between Vaccine Doses of Publicly Funded Routine Childhood Vaccines

Health care professionals are required by law to report Adverse Events Following Immunization. Report all events that meet criteria summarized in this document. Please use the Public Health Ontario reporting form and fax it to our Surveillance Unit at 905‑546‑4078. To find out whether an event meets reporting criteria, call 905‑546‑2424 x5910 and ask to speak to a Public Health Nurse. Register here to view a recording of the AEFI Reporting Updates webinar which took place on June 13, 2013.

Access medical advisories as well as forms for vaccine ordering, storage and handling in our Health Professionals portal.

Last Updated: February 21, 2014