SMS Texting FAQ

  1. What is the ImmunizeBC text reminder system designed to do?
  2. How do I sign up? 
  3. What kinds of reminders can I receive when I sign up?
  4. When and how often will I be reminded by the system? 
  5. I signed up for my child to receive reminders for the infant routine schedule but she has already received her 2 month shots. Can we still sign up to receive reminders for other future vaccine milestones (i.e. 4, 6, 12 and 18 months)?
  6. Who can use the text reminder system? Is it just limited to infants and children? 
  7. Can I sign up for both the Infant Routine Reminder and Future Appointment Date Reminder at the same time?
  8. Can I sign up for more than one child on the service at a time
  9. Can children that are off the routine schedule benefit from the text reminder system? 
  10. Can I stop and start receiving text reminders if I want to? Can I cancel out of the system completely?
  11. What if I don’t want to receive reminders anymore. Can I cancel out of the system?
  12. What happens if I call the number?

1. Q: What is the ImmunizeBC text reminder system designed to do?
A: Quite simply, it is designed to make it as easy and convenient as possible for the public to be reminded of future immunization appointments and milestones.Text messaging has become a popular mode of communication for many people these days, especially young parents. Additionally, research has shown that text message reminder systems are an effective way of maintaining and even increasing vaccine uptake in a population. ImmunizeBC hopes to take advantage of these two realities by developing a system designed for anyone to receive an automated text reminder in advance of their immunization appointments. 
 
2. Q: How do I sign up?
A: You can sign up in one of two ways:
1. Using your cell phone or mobile device by simply texting 604.757.2705.
2. Online by visiting www.immunizeBC.ca/reminders 
 
3. Q: What kinds of reminders can I receive when I sign up?
A: There are two types of reminders that you can sign up for:

  1. Infant routine reminders: Designed for parents to receive text message reminders before your child's 2,4,6,12, and 18 month immunizations are due (based on the BC routine infant immunization schedule). To sign up for this service simply enter in your baby's birthdate and you will receive reminders far enough in advance of each vaccination milestone so you can call to make an appointment with your vacicne provider. 
  2. For future appointment reminders: Designed for anyone at any age (i.e. infants, children, teens and adults) to receive text message reminders for a future immunization appointment date that has already been scheduled.  Simply enter in your next immunization appointment date along with the time of day for the appointment and you will receive an SMS text reminder prior to that appointment. 

 
4. Q: When and how often will I be reminded by the system? 
A: You will be sent two text reminders. The timing of these texts depends on whether you signed up for the Infant Routine Reminder using your baby's birthdate or a Future Appointment Date reminder. 

  1. Infant routine reminders: If you sign up using your baby's birthdate, text reminders will be sent from ImmunizeBC to your mobile device one month and one week before each of your baby's routine vaccination milestones of 2, 4, 6, 12, and 18 months. The purpose of these reminders is for you to contact your health care provider to schedule a time in which you can get your baby immunized.  
  2. Future Appointment Date: If you sign up to be reminded in advance of an already scheduled vaccine appointment, text reminders will be sent from ImmunizeBC to your mobile device one week and one day before the future appointment date. 

 
Routine Infant reminder example: My child was born Jan 1, 2012. I text 604.757.2705 and, when prompted, enter in my baby’s birth date - 01/01/2012. I receive a text from ImmunizeBC confirming that I have entered in my baby’s birth date in the right format. If correct, I do nothing. If incorrect, I re-enter my baby’s birth date. I will then receive text reminders before of each routine appointment at the following dates:

  • 2 months – reminders sent Feb 1st, and 23rd, 2012
  • 4 months – reminders sent April 1st and 24th, 2012
  • 6 months – reminders sent  June 1st and 24th, 2012
  • 12 months – reminders sent December 1st and 24th 2012
  • 18 months - reminders sent June 1st and 24th, 2013

 
Future Appointment Reminder Example: I have just scheduled my second HPV immunization appointment for September 23rd, 2013.  I text 604.757.2705 and enter in the date in the following format: DD/MM/YYYY (23/09/2013). I am then asked what time the appoitment is. I enter "2 PM". I will receive texts on September 16th and September 22nd to remind me that I have an appointment on September 23rd at 2PM for my next immunization appointment. 
 
5. Q: I would like to sign up for my child to receive reminders for the infant routine schedule but my child has already received her 2 month immunizations. Can we still sign up to receive reminders for other future vaccine milestones (i.e. 4, 6, 12 and 18 months)?
A: Yes, simply by entering your child’s date of birth, you can sign up to receive reminders at any point in the routine schedule. 
 
6. Q: Who can use the text reminder system? Is it just limited to be used by parents of infants and children?
A: No, anyone at any age who would like to be reminded of an already scheduled future appointment for any vaccine can use the system by simply texting 604.757.2705 from their mobile phone or by visiting www.immunizebc.ca/reminders and entering the future appointment date. They will then receive a text reminder to their cell phone one week and one day before that next scheduled appointment. 
 
7. Q: Can I sign up for both the Infant Routine Reminder and the Future Appointment Date Reminder at the same time?
A: No, if you try signing up for a new reminder and still have pending reminders from a previous sign up you will receive the following warning prompt: 
 
"Warning: you still have pending reminders for your immunization appointment(s) on the system. To replace them, reply Y"
 
The only way you can sign up for both services would be by using a second mobile number. 
 
For example, if a parent signs up to receive routine text reminders prior to the 2, 4, 6, 12, and 18 month milestones, they would not be able to sign up for appointment reminders at the same time without replacing/overriding the first reminder. 
 
8. Q: Can I sign up for more than one child on the service at a time?
A: No, not using the same phone number. Regardless of how you use the service, you can only be reminded by the system for one date at a time. If you still have pending reminders scheduled on the system, entering in a new date will prompt the following reponse to be sent to your mobile device:
"Warning: you still have pending reminders for your immunization appointment(s) on the system. To replace them, reply Y"

 
9. Q: Can children that are off the routine schedule benefit from the text reminder system?
A: Yes, by signing up for the option of receiving a reminder based on an already known future appointment date.
The unpredictability around the timing of when children who are off schedule are being immunized means that it would be prove very difficult to come up with a centralized system that would allow a parent to receive accurate reminders of when their child’s next immunizations are due. However, the system allows for these parents to sign up for reminders for already known future appointment dates.. This provides a text reminder option for parents of children that are off schedule.  
 
10. Q: What happens if I cancel an appointment and reschedule it?
A: If you sign up to receive a reminder for a future appointment and then change it, simply text the new appointment date to 604.757.2705. The system will prompt you with a warning that you still have pending reminders and if you would like to replace them with a new date. When you enter a new appointment date the system will automatically replace the old date with the new one.     
 
11. Q: Can I stop and start receiving text reminders if I want to? 
A: Yes, to stop receiving reminders simply text “stop” to 604.757.2705 using the same phone that you used to sign up. To start up again, text “start”. 
 
12. Q: What happens if I call the number?
A: You will receive a voicemail message stating that the number is not regularly monitored and will be prompted to visit ImmunizeBC.ca or call 811 if you have other questions about immunization.