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.
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
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:
- Hepatitis A Vaccine (IMT-218A) (PDF)
- Hepatitis B Vaccine (IMT-218B) (PDF)
- Providing School-Based Vaccines (IMT-910) (PDF)
- Influenza Requisition Form (PDF)
Please fax your order along with a copy of your temperature log to Nicole O’Quinn at (807) 625-4828.
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:
- High Risk Pneu-C-13 Vaccine (IMT-219) (PDF)
- High Risk Meningococcal Vaccine (IMT-221.1) (PDF)
- Tuberculosis Skin Test (ID-TB-200) (PDF)
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:
- Vaccine Cold Chain Incident Exposure Report Form (IMT-509-17), which must include a list of the vaccine inventory.
- A copy of your temperature log book.
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.
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.
Publicly Funded Shingles Immunization Program
The shingles vaccine (Zostavax® II) is NOW publicly funded for adults aged 65-70 years (announced September 15, 2016).
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.
Publicly Funded HPV Immunization Program
Changes to the criteria for publicly funded HPV immunization came into effect on September 5, 2017. Both Gardasil® (HPV4) and Gardasil 9® (HPV9) are available. Please consult this quick reference chart (PDF) for more information.
Questions can be directed to a TBDHU immunization nurse at 625-5900 or toll-free at 1-888-294-6630.
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.
Specifics regarding Ontario’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP) will be posted when available.
Thunderbayflu.ca is the TBDHU’s flu-specific website for both the public and health care providers.
The NACI Statement on the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2017/2018 is now available.
For Further Information
Call the Vaccine Preventable Disease program: (807) 625-5900
or toll-free 1-888-294-6630