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Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey, 2013

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Released: 2015-07-21

The 2013 Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (CNICS) collected information about children's immunizations from parents or guardians. Routine immunizations are publicly funded across Canada and are free for families.

According to public health recommendations, children should receive certain routine immunizations by age two. About 90% of two-year-olds had received the recommended number of immunizations against measles, mumps and rubella and about 76% of two-year-olds had received the required number of shots for diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus. Coverage for polio among two-year-olds was 91%, while 73% had been vaccinated against varicella (chicken pox).

The CNICS also collected data on the immunization coverage for human papilloma virus (HPV) for girls at ages 12 to 14 and 17. Nationally, the coverage for HPV immunizations was approximately 73% for girls aged 12 to 14 and 67% for 17-year-old girls in 2013.

The CNICS gathered information on parent's or guardian's attitudes towards vaccinations. A small proportion of children (1.5%) had never received immunizations of any kind.

For those children who did receive at least one immunization, most of their parents or guardians agreed that childhood vaccines are important for their child's health (97%), that childhood vaccines are effective (97%) and that childhood vaccines are safe (95%).

The Public Health Agency of Canada will release more information on national immunization coverage rates later today on its website.

  Note to readers

This unplanned revision corrects inaccuracies found in the data and incorporates updated immunization guidelines and practices. No comparisons should be made to previously released information or previous survey cycles.

The Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (CNICS), which was sponsored by the Public Health Agency of Canada, is intended to determine whether children at ages 2, 7 and 17 are immunized in accordance with recommended immunization schedules for publicly-funded vaccines. In addition, the CNICS collected data on the immunization coverage for human papilloma virus for girls at ages 12 to 14 and 17. Questions also assessed parents' knowledge, attitudes and awareness of vaccines.

Information about the child's immunizations was collected from the parent or guardian. In addition, for approximately a third of the children, immunization records were also obtained from the child's health care provider. When both sources (parent and health care provider data) were available, they were combined to provide the immunization information for that child.

Twelve year old girls in Ontario were excluded from the provincial human papilloma virus (HPV) immunization coverage estimate as many of them would not have yet been eligible for the school-based HPV immunization program, which is offered starting in grade 8 in Ontario.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

For more information about the survey and its results, contact the Public Health Agency of Canada (613-957-2983).

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