Whether it’s your first trip or you’re a veteran traveller, it’s always important to make sure you are prepared for a healthy and safe travel experience. Here, you’ll find all the answers to common questions about travel health, essential travel health resources, and how to prepare for a healthy trip.
If Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended or required for your trip, you will need to visit a certified Yellow Fever vaccination clinic. Listings for certified clinics are available here:
Check with your national authority and public health agency for listings in other countries.
The goal of travel health is to protect the health of travellers and the communities they visit. It’s all about awareness and prevention.
Travel health is focused on keeping you physically and mentally well, but it’s also about the impact you have throughout your trip, which is your “health footprint”. Just like an environmental footprint, you also have a health footprint, which is the health resources you use during your trip. It’s important to minimize your health footprint so that healthcare resources can be used in places where they are needed most.
When thinking about your trip, there are three phases to consider: Pre-trip preparation, staying healthy during your trip, and post-trip follow-up.
When you are planning your trip, consider the following factors: the type of travel you plan to do, your destination, climatic conditions, duration of your trip, and your health status. Knowing these factors will help you determine how far in advance you need to prepare, what immunizations and medications you will need, and what precautions you should take during your trip.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare:
It depends. To get the proper vaccinations and advice, you need to determine the type of travel you're going to undertake, your destination, duration of your trip, your vaccination history, and your current health status.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider or travel clinic at least 4-6 weeks before you depart to ensure your routine immunizations are up-to-date and get any travel-related vaccines if needed.
Routine immunizations provide protection from infectious diseases such as Influenza, Polio, Measles-Mumps- Rubella, and Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus. No matter your age, it’s important to ensure you are up-to-date with all your routine immunizations. Get in touch with your healthcare practitioner if you are unsure of your vaccination status.
You can find vaccination schedules for US citizens here and Canadian citizens here.
For entry into some countries, you may be required by law to show proof of vaccination against certain illnesses. Required vaccinations protect the population of the country you are visiting and limit the spread of infectious diseases in your home country. Yellow Fever is one example of a required vaccination.
Recommended vaccinations are suggested to protect the health of travellers during their trip and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases across borders.
Selective vaccinations are suggested for people going on specific trips such as visiting rural areas, taking part in work assignments, or planning long-term travel where they are at higher risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases than traditional travellers. For more information and help prioritizing vaccines, see Travel Vaccines.
We recommend getting immunized 4-6 weeks in advance. This allows your body to build antibodies (immunity) against infections. Some vaccines are given in 2 or 3 doses so you may have to visit a travel health clinic or healthcare practitioner more than once.
Yes. There are some vaccine series that can be given in accelerated doses. We recommend getting vaccinated in your home country since vaccines at your destination may not be suitable or safe. Be aware of the risk of counterfeit and poor quality medications abroad.
Travel health clinics set their own fees. They usually charge a consultation fee in addition to the price of each travel vaccine.
An endemic area is a region or country where an infection is continuously transmitted within the population. It can be occurring at low, intermittent, or high levels.
An epidemic is a sudden outbreak of an infectious disease with a high morbidity (illness) and / or mortality (death) rate.
Post-trip follow-up is usually overlooked by many travellers, but it could prevent future health complications and even save your life.
If you received any type of medical care abroad (including prescription medications or changes to your existing prescription), inform your healthcare practitioner once you arrive home.