COVID-19 VACCINES - For more information on the COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the dedicated webpage.
UPDATED PUBLICLY FUNDED SCHEDULE - Ontario's Immunization Schedules has been updated (June 2022) and is available online and can be printed by health care providers.
MISSED DOSE VACCINE ELIGIBILITY - Due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, some individuals may have missed their opportunity to receive the recommended vaccines (grade-based, age-based, high risk) under the publicly funded program. TBDHU is encouraging these individuals, including children, to reach out to their health care provider to ensure they are up-to-date.
The TBDHU 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.
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.
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.
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 Tuesday 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.
- Attach photos or scans of your temperature log book showing the temperatures since your last order OR the last two weeks if you have ordered recently. Orders cannot be processed without a copy of the temperature log book.
- Emails are preferred as they reduce the risk of misplaced orders and improve the readability of the order and temperature log book submission. ·
- Please call (807) 625-5900 with any questions.
COVID-19 Vaccine Orders
Please visit COVID-19 Vaccines: Information for Health Care Providers for a copy of the order form and more information on COVID-19 vaccines.
School-Based Vaccine Orders
Some students may prefer to visit their health care provider to receive the school-based vaccines offered in Grade 7. To order these vaccines to administer to eligible students in your office, please use the standard order form (updated April 2022) and return by email to email@example.com.
The following school-based vaccines are listed at the bottom of the standard order form:
- Hepatitis B
- HPV 9
- Nimerix (replacing Menactra Quadrivalent Conjugate Meningococcal)
Please report administration of any vaccines for children 0-18 years by using the Immunization of Children (Ages 0-18 years) Report Form (IMT-911).
Transporting & Storing Vaccines
Vaccines must be picked up with a hard sided cooler and thermometer. Coolers to transport vaccines must be pre-conditioned (2-8°C). This video on How to Pack an Insulated Container for Vaccine Transport provides an overview of this process. Consider the product packaging when selecting the transport cooler. It is recommended that individuals transporting flu vaccine have reviewed and are familiar with Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines and have completed Maintain the Cold Chain module.
To pick up vaccines, use the TBDHU Main Entrance.
- We encourage you to wear a mask when picking up vaccines.
- Let reception staff know that you are here to pick up flu vaccines.
- Temperature log books must be submitted with the order. They cannot be submitted at the time of pick up.
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:
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:
- Ministry of Health Vaccine Cold Chain Incident Exposure/Wastage Report, 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.
Non-reusable vaccine includes unused, exposed, expired and damaged vaccine. All non-reusable vaccine should be returned to the TBDHU once every two months when picking up new vaccine orders. Place the non-reusable vaccine in a brown paper bag. Complete the Non-Reusable Vaccine (Spoiled or Expired) Return Form and attach it to the brown paper bag.
For questions, please call 807-625-5900 or your nearest branch office.
Ontario's Immunization Schedules (updated June 2022) is intended primarily for health care providers who administer immunizations as a reference tool for immunizers, and provides information regarding:
- The routine immunization schedule
- Catch-up immunization schedules
- High risk immunization programs and schedules
- Eligibility criteria for all publicly funded vaccines
- Minimum and recommended intervals between doses for vaccine series.
This resource does not include recommended schedules for COVID-19 immunizations. Please refer to the latest guidance for COVID-19 vaccination.
Due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, some individuals may have missed their opportunity to receive the recommended vaccines, either age-based on grade-based, under the publicly funded program. The tables below can be referenced for guidance. Please note: Restarting the vaccine series is not required, regardless of the time delay.
For more information on each vaccine please see the Ministry of Health Fact Sheets and Patient Tools webpage and Ontario’s Ontario's Immunization Schedules (updated June 2022).
||Impacted cohort||Remains eligible for missed doses until|
|Hep B (Recombivax or Engerix)||Grades 7 to 8||Grade 9 students in the 2020/21, 2021/22, and 2022/23 school years (born in 2006a, 2007, or 2008)||Aug 31, 2023 (must complete series)|
|Grades 7 to 12
Female students who graduated in the 2020, 2021, and 2022 (born in 2002, 2003, or 2004)b.
Male students who graduated in 2022. Males in grade 7 became eligible in 2016 (born in 2004)b.
|Aug 31, 2023
(must complete series)
|Grades 7 to 12 and those born in or after 1997||N/A||Remains eligible until vaccine is received|
a Individuals aged 16 years and older require a 3-dose Hep B immunization schedule as per the Canadian Immunization Guide Hepatitis B Vaccine: Canadian Immunization Guide.
b Individuals aged 15 years and older require a 3-dose HPV-9 immunization schedule as per the Canadian Immunization Guide Human papillomavirus vaccine: Canadian Immunization Guide.
|Vaccine||Current eligibility||Impacted cohort||Remains eligible for missed doses until|
|65 to 70 years old||Seniors born in 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952||Dec 31, 2023|
|Males 9 to
|Males born in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996||Dec 31, 2023|
|2 months to
|Individuals born in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005||Dec 31, 2023|
|9 months to
|Individuals born in 1964f, 1965g, 1966h, 1967||Dec 31, 2023|
c, d Age of the impacted cohorts falls within the Health Canada product monograph age indications for product use
e Ontario publicly funds a single lifetime dose of Men-C-ACYW135 for individuals ≥56 years of age who meet high risk eligibility criteria listed in Table 3: High Risk Vaccine Programs of the Publicly Funded Schedules for Ontario (2022) Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario June 2022.
f, g, h Under the program extension high risk individuals born in 1964, 1965 and 1966 are eligible for 2 doses of Men-C-ACYW135, since they would have been 55 years of age in 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively. Administration of two doses in these cohorts aligns with NACI recommendations based on expert opinion to as the product monographs limits age indication to 55 years of age.
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.
Thunderbayflu.ca is the TBDHU’s flu-specific website for both the public and health care providers. Updates for the 2022-23 season will be added to this page as they become available.
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 2023, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit will be sharing a monthly series of posters that Health Care Providers can post in their offices. These posters promote vaccines and address various issues related to immunization. Print copies of these posters will be provided with every vaccine order pick-up. Digital versions of these posters can also be accessed here:
- January: Immunizations while Pregnant, Breastfeeding or Chestfeeding. English - Thunder Bay (PDF) | English - District (PDF) | French (PDF)
- February-March: Accessing Routine School-Aged Vaccines: English (PDF) | French (PDF)
- April: National Immunization Awareness Week: English (PDF)
- May: Vaccines for Babies and Toddlers: English (PDF) French (PDF)
- June: Vaccines for Adults: English (PDF) French (PDF)
The Immunization Well-Child Toolkit/Trousse d'outils pour l'immunisation des enfants en bonne santé includes new (March, 2023) handouts to download and share with parents when communicating information about infectious diseases and the importance of vaccines in preventing many of these diseases.
A new health care provider resource for Talking About Vaccine Safety with Vulnerable Populations was developed through the Peer-2-Peer Vaccine Safety Project. The resource gives special considerations for people who use drugs and people that are homeless or under-housed.
For Further Information
Call the Vaccine Preventable Disease program: (807) 625-5900
or toll-free 1-888-294-6630