Immunization Resources

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit provides support to health care providers in a variety of ways:

  • Supplying vaccines, including the flu vaccine.
  • Ensuring vaccine providers follow Ontario’s vaccine storage and handling guidelines.
  • Providing support and information about immunizations, outbreaks, and other disease-related topics affecting public health.
  • Providing support and information in relation to adverse effects of immunization, including reporting.
NEW: Rotavirus Program Update (July 2018) - see below under Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule


How to Become a Vaccine Provider

Publicly funded vaccines are available from the TBDHU at no cost to eligible health care providers providing the facility meets specific criteria to ensure safe handling and storage of vaccines.

These criteria can be reviewed with TBDHU staff by calling 625-8810 or toll-free at 1-888-294-6630, ext. 8810.


Vaccine Storage and Handling

To ensure the efficacy of vaccines the cold chain must be maintained in accordance to Ontario's Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines (PDF).

Call 625-8810 or toll-free at 1-888-294-6630, ext. 8810 with questions.


Maintain the Cold Chain – Online Learning Module

To support facility staff responsible for vaccine storage and handling, the TBDHU has made available an online learning module adapted from evidence-based resources. Completing this learning opportunity is highly recommended. A certificate of completion is provided.

Learn more and start the module here: Maintain the Cold Chain


Vaccine Ordering

Orders must be placed by 4:30 pm on Monday and can be picked up the same week on Thursdays and Fridays between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Please ensure your cooler is pre-conditioned between 2-8 °C in preparation for picking up the vaccine order.

To order use the Vaccine Order Form (IMT-508B) (PDF)

Some vaccines require special order forms:

Please fax your order along with a copy of your temperature log to Nicole O’Quinn at (807) 625-4828.


Vaccine Reporting

Report all immunizations for children 0-18 years by using the Immunization of Children (Ages 0-18 years) Report Form (IMT-911).

Some vaccines require special report forms:


Reporting a Cold Chain Incident

A cold chain incident occurs when the temperature of a fridge goes below 2°C or higher than 8°C. If a cold chain incident occurs, please follow these steps:

1. Place all exposed vaccine in a bag marked “DO NOT USE”. If the fridge temperature is reading between 2-8°C, place the bag in the fridge. If the fridge temperature is out of this range, follow the established contingency plan; condition the hard-sided cooler used for transporting and place the bag in the cooler until the fridge has stabilized between 2-8°C.

2. Contact the Health Unit’s Vaccine Preventable Disease Program at 625-5900 or toll-free at 1-888-294-6630.  District communities should contact their local Health Unit branch office

3. Fax two documents to the Vaccine Preventable Disease Program at (807) 625-4828:

4. Follow the directions provided by Health Unit staff after the form has been reviewed and assessed.


Returning Non-Reusable Vaccine

Non-reusable vaccine includes unused, exposed, expired and damaged vaccine. All non-reusable vaccine should be returned to the TBDHU once a month when picking up new vaccine orders. Place the non-reusable vaccine in a brown paper bag. Complete the Non-Reusable Vaccine Return (IMT-509-17) (PDF)  and attach it to the brown paper bag.

For questions, please call 625-5900 or your nearest branch office.


Health Unit Immunization Clinics

For more information, visit our immunization clinics page.

Due to an increase in requests for appointments at Health Unit immunization clinics, the Health Unit will now prioritize clients who are not attached to a health care provider. Those with a health care provider will be asked to contact their provider for an appointment. This change is necessary to ensure that those clients with no other options have access to immunization services.


Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule

Ontario's Immunization Schedules provides a list of vaccines and the recommended vaccine schedules along with other important information regarding publicly funded vaccines.

Rotavirus Immunization Program

Ontario is transitioning from the monovalent rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix® (Rot-1) to the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine RotaTeq® (Rot-5) in the infant rotavirus immunization program. The TBDHU will use our remaining Rotarix® stock until completely depleted. Once depleted, RotaTeq® will be  distributed with all rotavirus vaccine orders, along with an additional dosage reminder.

Visit the Health Care Provider Q&A (PDF) from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Questions can be directed to a TBDHU immunization nurse at 625-5900 or toll-free at 1-888-294-6630.

HPV Immunization Program

For more information about publicly funded vaccine eligibility in Ontario, download the Publicly Funded HPV Eligibility table.

For more information about the High-Risk program eligibility, download the HPV Patient Fact Sheet.

Shingles Immunization Program

The shingles vaccine (Zostavax® II) is publicly funded for adults aged 65-70 years.

March 2019 Update - Due to high demand, the publicly funded Zostavax® will stock-out before it can be replenished by the manufacturer, with replenishment not expected until June. To help manage current stock until June 2019, please prioritize doses for non-immunized individuals in their 70th year who will be turning 71 in the near future.

Visit the Health Care Provider Q&A (PDF) from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Visit the Patient Fact Sheet (PDF) from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP)

In Ontario, the UIIP offers influenza vaccine free of charge each year to all individuals six months of age and older who live, work or go to school in Ontario.

Visit Health Care Provider Q&A (PDF) which includes a patient eligibility chart from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Visit the UIIP Information website for more information about the program. is the TBDHU’s flu-specific website for both the public and health care providers.


Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)

On July 1, 2014, changes to Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) came into effect. Without a valid exemption, all primary and secondary students must have proof of vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German measles), meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), and chickenpox (required for children born in 2010 or later) in order to attend school. A medical exemption form is available for health care providers.


Changes to School-Based Immunizations

As of September 2017, Ontario’s school-based immunization program offers all immunizations in Grade 7 for protection against Hepatitis B, Meningococcal disease and HPV.



For Further Information

Call the Vaccine Preventable Disease program: (807) 625-5900

or toll-free 1-888-294-6630

Last Updated: 16/04/2019