Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) and the Child Care & Early Years Act require children who attend childcare and school to be vaccinated against the diseases listed here, or to have a valid exemption (the Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus, COVID-19 and influenza vaccines are optional). These diseases can be very contagious and cause serious illness, including certain cancers, hospitalization, and even death.

Vaccines are the best protection against these infectious diseases. Depending on which vaccine, children and youth can get vaccinated through a healthcare provider, the School Immunization Program clinics (for eligible children and youth), or City-run vaccination clinics.

Most of these vaccines are part of Ontario’s routine immunization schedule, and are provided free of charge for people who meet the eligibility criteria. For the complete childhood immunization schedule, visit the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Vaccine and Immunization webpage. Parents/caregivers can speak to a healthcare provider to learn more.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A bacterial infection affecting the nose, throat, and/or skin.

Can cause death.

  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen neck
  • Weakness
  • Feeling tired
  • Fever and chills
  • Runny nose
  • Open sores on the skin
  • Suffocation (unable to breath)
  • Paralysis (unable to move)
  • Heart failure
  • Coma
Close contact with respiratory droplets (from talking, coughing or sneezing).

Direct contact with skin sores.

Usually, one vaccine (e.g. DTap-IPV-Hib) is given to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio.

Five doses, given at 2, 4, 6, and 18 months, and a booster dose at 4-6 years old.

Available from a health care provider’s office.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A bacterial disease affecting the nervous system.

Can cause death.

  • Spasm (uncontrollable muscle movement) in the jaw (“lockjaw”)
  • Painful muscles spasms
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty opening mouth
Direct contact with a  contaminated object that cuts the skin. Usually, one vaccine (e.g. DTap-IPV-Hib) is given to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio.

Five doses, given at 2, 4, 6, and 18 months, and a booster dose at 4-6 years old.

Available from a health care provider’s office.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A bacterial infection of the lungs and airways.

Most severe in infants under the age of 1.

Can lead to brain damage or death.

  • Mild fever
  • Cough that gets worse and can last from six to 12 weeks
  • Coughing fits (can make “whoop” sound)
  • Gasping for breath, difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Feeling tired
  • Choking
  • Vomiting
Close contact with respiratory droplets (from talking, coughing or sneezing).

Direct contact with and sharing contaminated objects.

Usually, one vaccine (e.g. DTap-IPV-Hib) is given to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio.

Five doses, given at 2, 4, 6, and 18 months, and a booster dose at 4-6 years old.

Available from a health care provider’s office.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A viral infection that attacks the immune system.

Can paralyze muscles and cause death.

More common in children under the age of 5.

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Feeling tired
  • Weakness
  • Severe muscle pain and stiffness in the neck and back
Contact with stool/poop (fecal-oral spread).

Close contact with respiratory droplets (from talking, coughing or sneezing).

Direct contact with contaminated objects or stool.

Usually, one vaccine (e.g. DTap-IPV-Hib) is given to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio.

Five doses, given at 2, 4, 6, and 18 months, and a booster dose at 4-6 years old.

Available from a health care provider’s office.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A very contagious viral respiratory illness.

Can spread quickly.

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Red eyes/eyelids
  • Rash (start as flat red bumps that join together as they spread)
Close contact with respiratory droplets (from talking, coughing or sneezing). The MMR or MMRV vaccine protects against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

At 12 months 1 dose of MMR vaccine is given.

At 15 months 1 dose of Varicella vaccine is given.

At 4 to 6 years, the second dose of the MMR and Varicella vaccines are usually given in the combined MMRV vaccine.

Available from a health care provider’s office.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A viral infection that passes easily from person to person

Most common in children, but can infect adults.

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore muscles
  • Earache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen salivary glands under the ear or jaw
Direct contact with saliva.

Direct contact with contaminated objects.

The MMR or MMRV vaccine protects against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

At 12 months 1 dose of MMR vaccine is given.

At 15 months 1 dose of Varicella vaccine is given.

At 4 to 6 years, the second dose of the MMR and Varicella vaccines are usually given in the combined MMRV vaccine.

Available from a health care provider’s office.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A viral infection, also called “German Measles”.

Can cause miscarriage or serious birth defects if infected when pregnant.

  • Low fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Pink or red rash
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Headache
  • Achy joints
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands in the neck and behind ears)
Close contact with respiratory droplets (from talking, coughing or sneezing).

Can pass from a pregnant person to the unborn baby.

The MMR or MMRV vaccine protects against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

At 12 months 1 dose of MMR vaccine is given.

At 15 months 1 dose of Varicella vaccine is given.

At 4 to 6 years, the second dose of the MMR and Varicella vaccines are usually given in the combined MMRV vaccine.

Available from a health care provider’s office.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A very contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

Most common in young children.

If youth/adults get it, they can get very sick.

  • Slight fever
  • Feeling tired
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy rash with blisters (fluid-filled bumps)
Direct contact with fluid from the blisters.

Close contact with respiratory droplets (from talking, coughing or sneezing).

Direct contact with contaminated objects.

The MMR or MMRV vaccine protects against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

At 12 months 1 dose of MMR vaccine is given.

At 15 months 1 dose of Varicella vaccine is given.

At 4 to 6 years, the second dose of the MMR and Varicella vaccines are usually given in the combined MMRV vaccine.

Available from a health care provider’s office.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
Bacterial infection which is often severe, leading to brain infection (meningitis) or blood infection (septicemia) and possible death. Meningococcal meningitis (brain infection):

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Sore muscles and joints
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Seizures, convulsions
  • Skin rashes

Meningococcal septicemia (blood infection):

  • Fever
  • Feeling tired
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Rapid breathing
  • Body aches
  • Red or dark purple skin rashes
Close or lengthy direct contact with the saliva (spit) of someone who has the bacteria. At 12 months, 1 dose of the meningococcal C vaccine is given. It covers strain C. It is available from a health care provider’s office.

Meningococcal ACYW-135 is given in grade 7 & 8 through the School Immunization Program (SIP). It covers 4 strains.

Some people who missed the vaccine in grades 7/8 can get it at a Toronto Public Health clinic

 

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A viral infection that affects the liver

The disease can be short term (acute) but can become long term (chronic)

Many who have hepatitis B do not know they have it but they can still spread the virus

Acute hepatitis B:

  • Fever
  • Feeling tired, weak
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes

Chronic hepatitis B:

  • Serious liver disease such as scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
  • Liver cancer
Blood and bodily fluids that contain the virus enter the body of someone who is not infected (e.g. through sexual contact, contact with contaminated objects such as needles). Two or three doses of the Hep B vaccine are offered to students in grades 7 & 8 through the School Immunization Program (SIP).

Some people who missed the vaccine in grades 7/8 can get it at a Toronto Public Health clinic Opens in new window.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A viral infection that can cause many cancers.

Most Canadians will get an HPV infection in their lifetime.

Can cause cancers of the genitals, cervix and head and neck.

Impacts both males and females

  • Most people have no symptoms
  • For some people, infections go away without treatment within a couple of years
  • Some people may develop symptoms of cancer or warts
Spread through close physical contact with someone who has the virus. Two or three doses of the vaccine (HPV9) are offered to students in grades 7 & 8 through the School Immunization Program (SIP).

The vaccine protects against 9 strains of the virus.

Some people who missed the vaccine in grades 7/8 can get it at a Toronto Public Health clinic Opens in new window.

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A viral respiratory illness similar to the flu

Some people can get very sick and may require hospitalization

Some people can get long COVID (symptoms that last for months)

  • Fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling tired
  • Weakness (or falls)
  • Muscle aches
  • Some children can get an unusual inflammatory condition that needs medical attention: rash, long lasting fever, pink eyes and/or swelling in the hands and feet
Close contact with respiratory droplets or aerosols (from talking, coughing or sneezing).

Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Everyone 6 months and over is encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine and stay up-to-date with vaccinations.

Learn about the COVID-19 vaccines available for children and youth.

Available at a variety of clinic locations.

Can receive other vaccines at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine

What it is Symptoms How it Spreads About the Vaccine
A viral respiratory infection

Most severe in children 6 months to 5 years old, people over 65, people who are pregnant, and those with health conditions

  • Fever/chills
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling tired
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Watery eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Complications can result in trouble breathing, convulsions, seizures, and pneumonia
Close contact with respiratory droplets or aerosols (from talking, coughing or sneezing).

Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

One dose of the influenza vaccine given every year during “flu season”.

The vaccine is available at a variety of clinic locations.

Everyone 6 months and older can get a flu vaccine.