Vaccinations for adults and children

Vaccinations (also called immunizations) are one of the best ways to protect yourself and your children from getting serious diseases. You should ask a doctor what vaccinations you and your children need.

Before your children start school, you can arrange to have them vaccinated against certain diseases through your doctor or a public health clinic. You will receive a vaccination record, which you may have to provide to your child’s school. If you and your children were not fully vaccinated against preventable diseases before coming to Canada, you should contact a doctor or local public health clinic to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated.

Medical surveillance

If you were required to undergo a medical examination before you came to Canada, you may have been told that you need to report to the “public health authorities.” This is known as “medical surveillance.”

You must contact the public health authority in the province or territory where you live within 30 days after entering Canada. Public health authorities will check to see if you are in good health and arrange any medical follow-up you may need.

If you do not report to the public health authority, you may not be able to move on to the next steps in the immigration process. After you have this medical assessment, no future changes to your health will affect your immigration status.

Pregnancy and maternity benefits

Contact your local health service centre or hospital for help and support before and after your baby is born.

A doctor or nurse can give you information about:

  • sexual health
  • pregnancy
  • prenatal development
  • childbirth
  • maternity
  • prenatal courses
  • nursing care

A doctor or nurse can also give you information about:

  • registering the birth
  • getting an official birth certificate
  • meeting other new parents

If you are pregnant and working, you may be able to take paid leave from your employer for a set period of time. Employment Insurance gives benefits to eligible parents who are expecting or have recently had a baby.

Access to prescription drugs

All necessary medication given in a Canadian hospital is free.

Most Canadians also have insurance coverage that pays part of the cost of prescription medicines. You can get this coverage through:

  • provincial and territorial governments
  • publicly funded drug programs
  • employers that have private insurance plans for their employees

For more details, contact your provincial or territorial ministry of health.

Mental health and addiction services

You can get help if you or someone you know has:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • depression

You can also get help if you or someone you know has:

  • a psychiatric disorder;
  • an addiction; or
  • any other mental health problem.

Talk to your family doctor or visit a medical clinic. You can also call one of the distress service telephone numbers. In a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

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