OBJECTIVES: A critical component of the 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign was the collection of immunization data at the point of care. To meet reporting requirements and to ensure timely availability of coverage information- many jurisdictions across Canada employed new or modified approaches to vaccine data collection. The objective of this study was to observe and characterize the range of influenza immunization data collection approaches used across Canada. METHODS: As part of a multi-stage observational study- the research team visited immunization clinics at which tasks related to data collection and management were observed. Tasks included registration- medical history collection and review- vaccine record-keeping- proof of vaccination preparation- and data entry. Field notes were analyzed in order to understand the data collection mechanisms that comprised each information system as a whole. RESULTS: Data collection mechanisms were grouped into two categories: electronic systems (9/38)- in which all data were captured on computer/ and hybrid systems (29/38)- comprised of computerized and paper-based data collection tasks. Observed systems included stand-alone databases- immunization registries- and electronic health records. Organizations incorporated magnetic card reader technology- telephone registration- and pre-populated fields into data collection approaches. Electronic systems captured a greater number of data elements. CONCLUSION: Canadian jurisdictions employed a range of data collection approaches during the H1N1 vaccination campaign. System characteristics can have important implications for on-site efficiency and organization as well as program planning and evaluation. The systems observed have been described in detail to allow vaccine providers and planners to learn from what has been done elsewhere.