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Immunization General Notes

Immunization Subsets provide a standardized way for systems to capture, store, retrieve and transmit immunization-related health information. 

Implementation of the Immunization Subsets enables public health and other health care providers to meet the business requirements of recording vaccine administration (current and historic), inventory management and immunization forecasting.

Immunization subsets are supported by the Canadian vaccine model where the concepts and terms are linked together through relationships to allow analytics to be performed: concepts and terms authored in the SNOMED CT CA Edition align with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Canadian Immunization Guide (CIG).

In the immunization domain, it is expected that new content will be developed on an ongoing basis and will most probably be exclusive to Canada, although any existing SNOMED CT International content will be leveraged where possible.

Most of the developed content resides in the CA Edition because it is specific for Canadian use. 

Concepts or descriptions specific to Canada include:

  • TradeName concepts
  • Concepts or descriptions with 'unspecified'
  • Concepts or descriptions with 'low dose/standard dose or 'X strength'

The following concepts or descriptions will eventually be candidates for core inclusion. Users can expect these to be promoted to international core:

  • Generic substance concepts
  • Generic product concepts

Implementing these Subsets:

The subsets with the same colored font complement each other; one subset includes the passive agent and the other includes the vaccine.

The following four subsets should be implemented together:





AntigenCode and ImmunoglobulinCode subsets also complement each other and should be implemented together.



The VaccinePreventableDiseaseCode subset includes diseases that are prevented by administration of vaccines.


Canadian Editorial Guidelines

Infoway has developed generic and immunization specific editorial guidelines. These editorial guidelines follow the SNOMED International's baseline editorial guidance with additional specifications to avoid ambiguity and reflect Canadian-specific requirements.

Implementers are encouraged to review the Canadian editorial guidelines before submitting a request for a new concept or a change to an existing concept. 

Implementation Considerations

Jurisdictions that have not previously used the immunization subsets may begin to use the new version immediately.

Jurisdictions that have already implemented the immunization subsets can review the changes from the Terminology Gateway change logs. A review of the changes will help to determine how the changes impact the work completed to date.

Some items for consideration:

  1. Review the codes that have been inactivated to see if they are currently in use. Inactivated codes should no longer be used.
  2. Review records that have been modified  to ensure the modifications do not impact the use of that code in the system.
  3. Review new records added to the CA Edition and determine if local codes should be updated. 

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