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A vaccine (also known as an immunization) is a preparation that, when administered to a person, improves the ability of their immune system to fight germs that cause a disease. Therefore, vaccines can prevent certain illnesses, some of which are life-threatening. Keeping your vaccines up-to-date will help you stay healthy all year long.

While vaccination is not mandatory in Canada, Concordia University Health Services strongly recommends everyone keep their vaccinations up-to-date.

Unfortunately, many Concordians have not received all the vaccines that are recommended by public health experts. Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses occur on Canadian and U.S. campuses every year, including measles, mumps, chicken pox, meningitis, and of course, Covid-19. 

Keeping your vaccines up-to-date

Your vaccination records

If you're moving to Montreal for university, it's important to be informed about your vaccine history. Before you leave home, make sure to:

  • Review your vaccine history with your health care provider and update any vaccines you’re missing. Vaccines can be costly, and student insurance plans do not offer the same coverage that employee or family plans pay for. Start early, as some vaccines require a series of shots and may take a few weeks or months to complete.
  • Pack your vaccine records (or a clear copy or photo). Every university student should have this vital information easily accessible. 

Routine adult vaccination program

Concordia Health Services offers a routine adult vaccination program, through which you can make an appointment with a nurse to:

  • Ask questions and discuss any concerns you have regarding vaccines
  • Review your vaccination history and learn what vaccines you need
  • Receive vaccines. Verify your eligibility for free and paid vaccines below. 

Bring any vaccination records that you have to your appointment or ask your parent/guardian to scan, copy, or send you photos of the pages if you don't have them with you. Any information you can gather will help the nurse determine what you need. However, if you can't find your records, you can still have your vaccinations reviewed and updated, so don't hesitate to book your appointment!

Vaccines available at Health Services

Many vaccines are available at no cost to students, staff and faculty. Criteria may apply to get the vaccine for free (see table below). 

Health Services nurses and doctors can provide a prescription for certain paid vaccines: Gardasil, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, HPV-9, Shingles, Flu, Pneumonia and Meningitis.

If you don't meet the criteria to receive a vaccine for free, you can still purchase and have the vaccine administered in a variety of locations in Montreal. Call Info-Santé (8-1-1) or visit vaccines411.ca to find the vaccination location nearest you.

 

Vaccine; protects against

Ages to receive

Who can receive the vaccine for free

Td (can be combined with other vaccines)

Protects against Tetanus (T) and Diphtheria (d)

Primary vaccination (during childhood)

50 years of age

Booster as needed with high-risk injury: talk with a health professional

  • Everyone

aP (Pertussis) (combined with other vaccines)

Protects against Pertussis (whooping cough)

Primary vaccination (during childhood)

In the third trimester of every pregnancy

  • Everyone

Polio (combined with other vaccines)

Protects against Poliomyelitis (polio)

Primary vaccination (during childhood)

Booster based on certain travel criteria

  • Everyone

HA (individual or combined with other vaccines)

Protects against Hepatitis A

Series of 2 doses given 5 months apart if not received in elementary school

  • People living with liver disease
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who use illegal drugs
  • People who use oral, inhaled or injected drugs in unsanitary conditions
  • People who live in an endemic community

HB (individual or combined with other vaccines)

Protects against Hepatitis B

Primary vaccination (during childhood)

OR

Series of 2-3 doses (depending on age) over the course of 6 months

  • People who are sexually active
  • People living with liver disease
  • People who are immunocompromised
  • Recipients of blood transfusions
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Injection drug use
  • Living with someone who has Hepatitis B
  • People in fields where there is a professional risk of being exposed to blood or blood products

Influenza (Flu) vaccine

Protects against influenza (Flu)

6 months and older, with emphasis to those at increased risk of complications from flu

Available from November onward until stock depleted

Pneumoccocal vaccines

Protects against Pneumoccocal diseases

One dose over 2 months old if health issue

One dose to adults ≥65 years of age  

  • Same as flu criteria, excluding asthma
  • People who are immunocompromised: discuss with a health professional

Varicella vaccine (individual or combined with MMR vaccine) 

Protects against varicella (chickenpox)

Primary vaccination (during childhood)

OR

2 doses given 8 weeks apart for those who did not have chickenpox at ≥1 year old.

  • Everyone

MMR vaccine (individual or combined with Varicella vaccine)

Protects against Measles (M), Mumps (M), and Rubella (R)

Primary vaccination (during childhood)

OR

Series of 2 doses given 4 weeks apart

  • Everyone

HPV vaccine

Protects against the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) that causes cervical cancer and genital warts

Primary vaccination (during childhood)

OR

Series of 2-3 doses (depending on age)

  • Men 26 years old and under who have sex with men
  • Women 17 years of age and under
  • People who are immunocompromised

Note for paid vaccines

If you don't meet the criteria to receive a vaccine for free, you can still purchase and have the vaccine administered in a variety of locations in Montreal. Call Info-Santé 811 or visit vaccines411.ca to find the vaccination location nearest you. Locations include:

  • Concordia University Health Services:

    • Concordia Health Services nurses and doctors can provide a prescription for certain paid vaccines: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, HPV-9, Shingles, Flu, Pneumonia and Meningitis.

    • Call to book an appointment for more information. If there are no contraindications, you will be given a prescription. You will fill the prescription at the pharmacy and return to the clinic for your injection, depending on availability.

  • Your local pharmacy: You will need to meet with a nurse at the pharmacy. Not all pharmacies provide nursing services, so call first or go in person to book an appointment. Pharmacies that offer vaccines include Jean Coutu (flu), Brunet, Pharmaprix, and Uniprix

    • Note: Every pharmacy has different policies regarding requiring a prescription for vaccines, so call to find out if they require a doctor's prescription or if the pharmacy nurse can give you the vaccine without a doctor's prescription.

    • No prescription needed at the Pharmaprix across the street from the EV building (1500 St. Catherine St. W.). Go to the pharmacist and book an appointment with the vaccine nurse. You will be able to receive the vaccine there, for the price of the vaccine + an injection fee. You can then submit your receipt to your insurance provider, if they cover vaccines.

    • Note: Please verify with your insurance provider, as most do not need a doctor's prescription to reimburse vaccines. This can save yourself a doctor's appointment.

Gardasil (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine

Health Services offers paid Gardasil to Concordians. Book an appointment with a nurse to learn more.

The vaccine fees can be paid to the pharmacy over the phone using your credit card.

 

Learn more

Reliable information about vaccines

Since vaccination has become routine in Canada, many major diseases have been brought under control. You may have questions about vaccines. Come talk with a nurse and explore these reliable online resources for more information.

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