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Why is it important to get vaccinated?

In the past 50 years, vaccination has saved more lives in Canada than any other preventive health method. By getting vaccinated, you protect yourself against serious diseases and reduce the risk to your family and community.

Some facts about immunization

  • Immunization is the best strategy to protect against vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • The vaccines used in Canada are safe and effective.
  • Vaccination does not weaken the immune system. On the contrary, it uses its resources and teaches it how to defend itself.
  • Vaccine-preventable infections are much more dangerous than vaccines themselves.
  • The bacteria and viruses that cause vaccine-preventable diseases are not gone:
    • Diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and hepatitis A and B are caused by well-adapted pathogens that are contagious and more severe in some parts of the world.
    • The tetanus agent (bacterium) is present in the soil and will never be eliminated.

Flu or common cold? This guide teaches you how to tell the difference.

a boy who gets vaccinated by a nurse

Types of vaccinations

At Biron, we give you access to the most common and effective vaccines, as well as a personalized consultation with one of our nurses specialized in immunization.

The flu vaccine

The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu virus. Contrary to popular belief, it does not cause the flu. On the contrary, it stimulates the immune system against the virus. Its composition varies each year according to the observations of the Global Laboratory Network, whose main function is to isolate viruses throughout the world and identify new strains of influenza. Therefore, it is particularly important to get vaccinated every year.

DTaP vaccine (pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus)

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the combined vaccine (for pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus) be administered to children at 6, 10 and 14 weeks, and then as a booster every 10 years.

Pertussis (whooping cough)

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that manifests itself in coughing fits that can cause breathing difficulties. The resulting cough becomes stronger and more frequent after 7 to 14 days and can last several months. It is transmitted by secretions from the nose and throat of an infected person. This serious disease can cause pneumonia, convulsions and serious neurological complications. It is more frequent in late summer and fall. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against whooping cough.


This serious disease is a highly contagious bacterial infection. It manifests itself first in a sore throat, and then quickly in the production of thick mucus that blocks the airways and makes swallowing difficult, which can lead to asphyxia. Very rare cases of skin diphtheria may also appear, mainly in tropical areas. Contagion occurs mainly through direct contact with secretions from the nose and throat (e.g., coughing and sneezing) of an infected person, or through direct contact with a lesion on that person’s skin. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against diphtheria.


This bacterial disease is characterized by severe muscle contractions caused by the bacterium’s toxin. Untreated, the disease can cause death. The bacteria enter the body through an injury (even a minor one) that is contaminated by soil, saliva, dust, or human or animal feces. The risk of infection is greater for wounds that are difficult to clean (e.g., bites, nail punctures). The disease evolves rapidly; the muscles become painful and lead to cramps preventing normal swallowing, which can lead to asphyxia. Other symptoms may include increased heart rate, headaches, tremors, fever and hypertension. Tetanus is not a contagious disease, but the best way to protect yourself remains vaccination.

Hepatitis A and B vaccines

Hepatitis is a liver disease that can be transmitted in two different ways:

Hepatitis A

This viral disease is common in developing countries. It is usually transmitted through contaminated water, food or direct contact with an infected person. Therefore, prior to going on a trip, it is important to find out about the risk of contracting hepatitis A. Vaccination is a simple way to avoid a severe infection.

Hepatitis B

This viral disease is found throughout the world. It is usually transmitted through blood (e.g., blood transfusions, needles, sharing medical equipment) and unprotected sex with an infected person. It is one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine

HPV is one of the most common viruses in the world. There are over 100 types, but most do not cause symptoms and disappear on their own. For others, the virus can cause anal and genital warts or have more serious consequences such as cervical, testicular, penile and throat cancer.

Vaccination remains an excellent way to prevent the disease. The vaccine is most effective if administered before the first sexual relations. At Biron, the vaccine can be given to both girls and boys starting at the age of nine. Unless otherwise specified, current recommendations indicate that women may receive it up to age 45, and men may receive it up to age 26. The doses differ according to age, and the nurse will need to evaluate your health record during your consultation.

Are you safe from sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections? This guide helps you better prevent them.