Why you should keep track of your child’s vaccinations
Ensuring your child receives the right vaccinations at the right age is one of the most important ways to help them stay healthy and keep serious diseases at a distance. Over the course of their childhood and adolescence, your child will receive more than a dozen required vaccinations, half of which will be administered by the age of two. Keeping track of your child’s vaccinations isn’t something you should trust to memory.
The recommended vaccination schedule is structured to optimize vaccine effectiveness, therefore it’s very important to stick to the recommended timing as much as possible. The vaccination schedule is an easy tool to follow, and helps simplify the task of knowing when your child needs their next vaccination, whether it’s the four required doses of the diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus-polio vaccine, or the first or second dose of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Your child’s vaccination booklet: a valuable tool
The vaccination booklet is a standard document which parents receive at the hospital when their child is born or at the doctor’s office, CLSC or clinic at the time of their child’s first vaccine—usually at two months of age.
- For each vaccination your child receives, the doctor or nurse will list the date, name of the vaccine, and dose.
- The booklet, in combination with the vaccine schedule, can help you track your child’s vaccinations so that they never miss one.
- Do your part: bring the booklet with you every time you visit your child’s doctor or take your child for a vaccination appointment.
- Treat it like a passport! Keep it in a safe place with other important health documents.
Immunize Canada has developed an app that can serve as a complement to keeping track of your child’s vaccinations. The app helps you manage vaccination appointments for your family, and provides access to province-specific vaccination schedules, professionally-reviewed information about vaccinations, and alerts about disease outbreaks.
They’ll thank you later
The value of keeping proper records of your child’s vaccinations goes well beyond their 18th birthday.
- Although the majority of vaccinations are administered by the time a child enters high school, there are some vaccinations that require booster shots later in life. Having an accurate and up-to-date vaccination booklet is very beneficial in these cases.
- Your child might one day work for a company or organization that requires proof of their vaccination record. What’s more, if they travel or move to another country for work, they might be asked to show proof of vaccination to obtain their visa.
Is a vaccination registry on the way?
Organizations such as the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) have been advocating for some time to develop a national immunization registry network, a system that would use electronic registries to monitor and keep track of immunizations in Canadian children. Discussions have also taken place at the provincial level, and many healthcare professionals are hopeful that these projects will be developed in the coming years.