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December 06, 2019

Which vaccines should I get before I travel abroad?

Planning a trip soon? Depending on your destination, you may need to get certain vaccines to protect yourself against tropical diseases. You should also take the opportunity to make sure you’re up-to-date on booster shots for your routine vaccines.

 

Do I need to get vaccinated against tropical diseases?

If you’re planning a trip to South America, Africa and Asia, you may require protection against certain diseases that are prevalent there.

Vaccine You may need it if…
Cholera/Traveller’s Diarrhea
  • You are visiting developing countries with limited access to potable water or where it may not be easy to apply good hygiene measures.
  • You have health issues that increase your risk of complications if you contract these diseases when travelling.
Japanese Encephalitis
  • You are planning a trip to rural areas of Asian countries and the Western Pacific. It usually spreads over the summer and fall in temperate regions such as China, Japan or Korea and year-round in subtropical and tropical regions (areas with 1 to 2 seasons) such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Yellow Fever
  • You are planning a trip to countries in Africa or Central and South America.
  • You require proof of vaccination to enter a country (applicable in many countries).
Typhoid
  • You are travelling to areas with poor sanitation, poor food-handling practices, and limited access to clean water such as parts of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
  • You have a weak immune system to fight off diseases.
Rabies
  • You are planning to travel for long periods of time to high-risk areas such as parts of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. The disease is present worldwide in more than 150 countries and territories.
  • You participate in activities increasing close contact with mammals (especially bats) such as cave exploration, hunting, cycling and camping.
  • You work in occupations involving close contact with animals such as veterinarians, animal control or laboratory workers.

To check which vaccines are required for your travel destination, visit the Government of Canada website at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/vaccines.

 

Do I need any routine vaccinations?

Tetanus can be contracted anywhere in the world, so it is important to ensure you are immunized. Since diphtheria vaccine also requires a routine booster dose, a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) combination vaccine is strongly recommended.

Other vaccines may also be recommended, depending on your destination, lifestyle, age, or health. These may include the influenza, pneumococcal, meningococcal and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.

 

Where to get vaccinated?

Be sure to check whether you need any vaccines at least 6 weeks before your departure date, as some vaccines require more than one dose and additional time for the vaccines to work.

While booster shots for routine vaccines are provided free of charge for eligible individuals with a provincial health plan, there may be a fee for other vaccines. Depending on your private insurance plan, these fees may be partially or fully reimbursed.

Many pharmacies also offer vaccination and travel health services. Ask your pharmacist whether these services are available at your pharmacy. Alternatively, you may also consult a travel health clinic.

 

 

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The uniprix.com Website deals with health-related topics. The information presented has been validated by experts and is accurate at the time of posting. In no way does it replace the opinion of a health care professional. Uniprix Inc. and its affiliated pharmacists accept no liability whatsoever in connection with the information provided on this Website.