By Nicole Garcia
Travelling can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also comes with some health risks. Depending on your destination, you may be exposed to different diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. Vaccines are safe and effective ways to protect yourself and others from serious infections. In this guide, we will explain how to prepare for your next trip. Whether you are planning a short vacation or a long adventure, this guide will help you make the most of your trip.
Before you travel, it’s important to talk to your doctor or visit a travel clinic at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance. This is because some vaccines may take several weeks to become fully effective, and others may require more than 1 dose. Even if you have to leave on short notice, it’s still important to talk to your doctor or visit a travel clinic. Some vaccines that require more than 1 dose can still give you partial protection after just 1 dose. Some vaccines can also be given on an accelerated schedule; this means doses are given over a shorter period.
Also you need to check your boosters for COVID-19. You need at least two doses to complete your primary (initial) series for most COVID-19 vaccines in BC. The second dose of vaccine should be provided 8 weeks after the first dose, as recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. These people may not develop a strong enough immune response with only two vaccine doses. They need three doses to achieve the level of protection that most people get with two doses.
This also is an opportunity to:
Review your immunization history
Make sure your provincial/territorial vaccination schedule is up-to-date.
Discuss any trip-related health concerns you may have.
Assess your needs based on where you plan to travel and what you plan to do.
To know where is your nearest travel clinic you can visit: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/clinic
Vaccines for Travel:
Additional vaccines may be recommended depending on the following:
Your travel destination.
The risk of disease in the country or countries you are visiting.
The length of your trip.
The nature of travel (for example, if you will stay in urban or remote areas).
The activities you have planned while traveling.
To know which vaccines you need for your travel destination and to know what is best for you, you can visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/vaccines and talk to your doctor or another health care provider.
You should carry copies of yours or/and your family’s immunization records while you travel and leave the originals at home. You can download the free CANImmunize app from the iOS App Store or Google Play, and manage yours and your family’s vaccination records. https://www.canimmunize.ca/en/home
You may also check the Government of Canada’s https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories for your destination regularly for any updates on health and safety risks, entry requirements, security conditions and other important information
Traveling outside of Canada can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also comes with some health risks that can be prevented by getting vaccinated. By following these tips, you can enjoy your trip safely and protect yourself and others from infectious diseases.