New pilot project in Ottawa offers mobile solution for immunization reporting

April 30, 2015

Ottawa residents can send their children’s immunization information to public health authorities via their iPhones and iPads

OTTAWA – If you forgot to report your child’s immunization information to Ottawa Public Health (OPH), a new smartphone tool can help. A new test feature on the ImmunizeCA app will give Ottawa parents of children under the age of 15 the option to digitally report their child’s immunization record via their iPhones and iPads to OPH.

The creators of ImmunizeCA (the Canadian Public Health Association, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Immunize Canada) have partnered with CHEO’s Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) to test this potential solution for vaccination record-keeping.

The ImmunizeCA app, launched in March 2014, helps parents store, manage and back-up their families’ vaccination records and easily access their provincial or territorial vaccination schedule on their smartphones. It also provides local outbreak alerts on infectious diseases and up-to-date, accurate information on vaccinations for children, adults and travellers.

The new ImmunizeCA feature is part of a pilot project looking to improve reporting of immunization information for Ottawa children to OPH. The pilot is limited to testing the transmission of immunization information from ImmunizeCA app users on iPhones and iPads to the BORN network where a report will be generated for OPH. The goal is to encourage immunization reporting by Ottawa residents and facilitating immunization surveillance for Ottawa Public Health.

“This new test feature will make it easier for parents to report their children’s vaccination records to Ottawa Public Health,” said Ian Culbert, Executive Director of the Canadian Public Health Association. “The app keeps the information in one handy location; now reporting requires just a tap. It is an incredible feat for public health surveillance. ”

“The tracking of immunizations relies on parents to report their child’s immunizations to their local health unit,” said Sherry Nigro, Manager of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Ottawa Public Health. “This new app will help Ottawa Public Health get more accurate and timely immunization information from parents which will help keep our community well-protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.”

"This pilot is the beginning of the next generation of immunization systems where mobile technologies empower people to hold and share their family’s vaccination records," states Dr. Kumanan Wilson, Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Internal Medicine Specialist at The Ottawa Hospital and Professor at the University of Ottawa. "It will help public health teams get the information they need to better protect the public from vaccine preventable diseases."

This new test feature is being launched during National Immunization Awareness Week, April 25 to May 2, 2015. For more details, visit

The ImmunizeCA app with this new test feature is available only for iPhones and iPads and can be downloaded from the App Store

ImmunizeCA was developed with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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About the Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN Ontario)
BORN Ontario, a CHEO provincial program, is Ontario’s pregnancy, birth and childhood registry and network. Established to collect, share and rigorously protect critical data about each child born in the province, BORN Ontario manages an advanced database that delivers reliable, secure and comprehensive information on maternal and child care. Combined with expert advice, current evidence and innovative tools, BORN Ontario information imparts vital knowledge to professionals in every health care discipline to help improve care and the system.

About the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA)
Founded in 1910, the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) is the independent voice for public health in Canada with links to the international community. As the only Canadian non-governmental organization focused exclusively on public health, CPHA is uniquely positioned to advise decision-makers about public health system reform and to guide initiatives to help safeguard the personal and community health of Canadians and people around the world.

About Immunize Canada
Immunize Canada is a national coalition of non-governmental, professional health, and government organizations with the overall aim of increasing awareness about the benefits of immunization and promoting the understanding and use of vaccines as recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Support our research. Give to the Tender Loving Research campaign.

About Ottawa Public Health
For more than 125 years, Ottawa Public Health has provided public health programs and services to individuals and communities, while advocating for public policies that make Ottawa and its residents healthier. Protecting and promoting health and preventing disease is embedded in all of the programs and services offered to Ottawa residents.


For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Lois Ross
Senior Communications Specialist
613-737-8899 x73687
613-297-8315 (cell)

Canadian Public Health Association
and Immunize Canada
Riki Johnston
Communications Officer
613-725-3769 x 160

Ottawa Public Health
Donna Casey
Health Information Coordination
613-315-5726 (cell)