Adult Immunization

Vaccines are an important part of staying healthy. They help protect us against very harmful and serious diseases like measles, polio, pneumococcal, influenza, tetanus, and more. In Ontario, routine immunization schedules tell us what vaccines we need in adulthood as well as how to catch up for vaccines missed as a child. 

In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine and the annual flu vaccine, you may need vaccinations for:

  • tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis,
  • pneumococcal,
  • shingles,
  • measles, mumps, rubella,  AND
  • any vaccinations missed in childhood.

Diseases prevented by vaccines are still present in the world and can be brought into our community, as we saw in 2019 with measles. Ensuring your vaccine record is up to date is the best way to protect yourself and those around you, including people who have an increased risk of infectious diseases, such as:  

  • Children & infants
  • Travellers
  • Students in post-secondary education settings
  • Workers including those working in health care, emergency services, child care, laboratories, with animals and more
  • Pregnant people or those planning to become pregnant
  • Newcomers to Canada
  • Those with underlying medical conditions

Ottawa Public Health does not collect records of immunizations received for anyone 18 years or older, if Ottawa Public Health did not administer the immunization, please do not submit records to us as we are not able to process them.

Keep your records of immunization in a safe place like you would other important documents like a passport or birth certificate.

If you would like to keep track of your immunizations, CANImmunize is a free digital tool for Canadians that securely stores your vaccination records and helps you get vaccinated on time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my immunization record as an adult?  I am not sure what vaccines I have had or what vaccines I might need.

If you are unsure of what vaccines you have had, or do not have a record of previous immunizations received, there are many ways to check your vaccine history and to find out if you need vaccines.

The best resource is contacting your regular healthcare provider.

  • They can review the vaccines they have on your patient file and recommend next steps to get your immunization status up to date or recommend catch-up vaccination if you do not have an immunization record.
    • Keep in mind that immunization records are maintained at a health care providers office for a limited number of years, (usually 10-15 years) and/or there may be a cost associated to access archived records including those from retired or non-practicing health care providers.
  • If you received vaccines in another province, territory, and/or country, the local health authority where you lived may be able to help you retrieve your immunization record. 
    • Vaccines given in Canada:
    • Visit “Provincial and territorial health resources”- this resource can help you find contact information for the health authority in which you received immunizations. Ottawa Public Health is not able to provide access to immunization records given outside of Ontario.
  • Vaccines given outside of Canada:
    • Contact your local health authority in the country you received immunizations.
  • If you previously shared immunization records, or received immunizations from a post-secondary institution, volunteer organization, or employer: check with these organizations for your immunization record.
  • Contact your parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) in childhood who may have immunization records for you. Try looking through baby books, or other saved documents from your childhood.

Can I get my immunization record from Ottawa Public Health?

You may be able to access your immunization records with Ottawa Public Health if one of the following apply:

A) You are under the age of 28, and you attended elementary or high school in Ontario?

You may be able to access your immunizations reported for school attendance, as per the Immunization of School Pupils Act, on the Immunization Connect Ontario Tool (ICON) self-serve site.

  • To view or print your immunization record using ICON, you will need to create an account and set a PIN. To do this, you will need one of the following:
    • Your Ontario Photo Health Card - your Health Card Number must be on file with Ottawa Public Health (OPH); or
    • Your Ontario Immunization ID (OIID). If you do not have your OIID, complete the Ontario Immunization ID Request/Reset Form to request the OIID number. 
      • You will be able to reset your PIN on ICON by selecting “Forgot Pin”. Check your spam folder for the reset email if you do not see it in your inbox. 
      • You can print a copy or access the information anytime.
  • You can complete the Immunization Record Retrieval Request Form NOTE: there is up to a 30 day processing time for record requests submitted through this form.


Important note: If Ottawa Public Health (or another Ontario Public Health Unit) did not administer your immunizations the records we have online only reflect those reported to us by you while you were in elementary or high school, and may not be an accurate representation of all immunizations received in your lifetime. For best accuracy, contact your regular healthcare provider, who provided the immunizations, for immunization record requests.

B) You are over 18 and in the last 10 years you received an immunization administered by Ottawa Public Health, that was not a COVID-19 vaccine, flu vaccine, RSV vaccine, or post-exposure prophylaxis vaccine to prevent infection?*

Please complete the Immunization Record Retrieval Request Form 

NOTE: there is up to a 30 day processing time for record requests submitted through this form.

If none of the above apply:

OPH does not provide access to immunization records to adults who are 28 years old or older (whether the adults attended elementary or high school in Ontario in the past or not) if you did not receive a vaccine administered by OPH (other than Covid 19, flu, RSV, post-exposure prophylaxis vaccines) within the last 10 years.

 

You may need to visit a community health care provider to discuss options for vaccine catch-up. These catch-up vaccines are free of charge-a fee may be charged for administering the vaccines if you do not have provincial/federal health insurance (such as OHIP).

 

*For COVID-19 vaccine receipts visit our Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination page. To request a copy of your flu vaccine, RSV vaccine, or post-exposure prophylaxis vaccine to prevent infection record, only if given by Ottawa Public Health, mail or fax a request to Ottawa Public Health with your request including your full name at time of vaccination, your date of birth, date vaccine was received, location where vaccine was received, your home address at time of vaccination, your current mailing address and your current phone number.

  • Fax: 613-580-9660
  • Mail: Ottawa Public Health, Immunization Unit, Mail Code 26-42, 100 Constellation Drive, Ottawa ON, K2G 6J8

NOTE: There are no in-person immunization services at this location

 I am travelling outside of Canada, are there vaccines I might need?

Due to the presence of vaccine preventable diseases in foreign countries you should ensure your immunization status is up to date before travelling. Your regular health care provider or a specialized travel medicine clinic can help you in making sure you are safe to travel. It is recommended to schedule an appointment for at least six weeks before your planned departure. The Government of Canada provides information on travel vaccinations

 I have no history of some (or any) of my vaccines. What are my options?

Vaccines are safe for most adults and can be repeated without any increased risk of reactions. You can discuss vaccination options with a health care provider to ensure you are protected.  

No health care provider? 

Where can I get vaccines?

If you need a routine vaccine:

  • Contact your regular healthcare provider, or visit a walk-in clinic if you do not have a regular health care provider: Find clinic services in your area.
  • If you require immunizations as part of a post-secondary school requirement you can contact the school’s health services.
  • If you require immunization as part of a workplace requirement speak to your occupational health department who may be able to direct you to health services.
  • Routine vaccines are offered at Ottawa Public Health’s Neighbourhood Health and Wellness Hubs for clients aged 18 and over who are newcomers without an Ontario Health Card (OHIP). Those individuals can also have their records assessed at a Hub.

To find out if you are eligible under the publicly funded schedule in Ontario for a high-risk vaccine and to receive these vaccines:

For information on where to get your COVID-19 vaccine visit our COVID-19 vaccine page

For information on where to get your flu vaccine visit our Flu vaccine page

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