• Dr. Paul Dhillon MBBCH CCFP

Immunization National Guidelines

Immunization is such a hot topic it would be remiss to not know it well for the Family Medicine exam. Do you know what special populations would benefit from additional vaccinations? How would you counsel a parent who is vaccine hesitant? What are the national guidelines for vaccination, and what do they say?


When studying immunizations schedules remember that this is a national exam. The minutiae of a provincial dosing schedule won’t be as important as the big picture and national recommendations from NACI, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

If you were asked to provide a list of specific populations that needed vaccinations what would you say? Think simple first! (T-RICES)

1. Travellers

2. Recent Immigrants

3. Immunosuppressed

4. Children

5. Elderly

6. Sickle Cell Anemia

Remember to record vaccinations in the patient chart, don’t postpone vaccinations when a patient has a minor illness, think of diseases in your differential that could occur if a patient is unvaccinated, and don’t assume that vaccination is 100% effective - a patient who has been immunized with MMR can still catch the measles (though it is very unlikely).

See you at The Review Course for more in-depth tips and tricks for the exam!


A great website/app to direct your tech-savvy patients to is immunize.ca where they can download an app that can record their previous vaccinations and send reminders when they are due boosters (for their children as well!).

In addition to that resource the Public Health Agency of Canada has two vaccination schedule calculators for children under 6 and Grade 1 to 12 that can create a schedule specific for your province.

Ready to sign up for The Review Course and go more in-depth with exam prep? Make sure you are among the first to know when registration begins by clicking here!


1 - http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/iyc-vve/is-cv-eng.php

2 - http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/iyc-vve/schedule-calendrier-eng.php

3 - http://www.immunize.ca/en/default.aspx

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