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Vaccines in preparation for a trip

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The risk of contracting some illnesses can increase when we visit other countries. Luckily, vaccination enables us to prevent numerous problems. If you are planning a trip overseas, you’d best not forget to arm yourself with the necessary vaccines to travel safely and worry-free!

Les vaccins en prévision d'un voyage

Why do you need a vaccine?

A trip overseas can be an enriching experience. However, contracting a virus or bacteria can easily ruin a trip and have major consequences on your health. For example, hepatitis A is one of the most frequent infections contracted by travellers, and can cause severe symptoms for several months.

The risk of contracting an illness while travelling depends on several factors, including the travel destination country and its sanitary conditions. Your age and health condition can also play a factor in your risk of contracting various viruses and bacteria.

Fortunately, many illnesses can be avoided through vaccination, which is why it is important to receive the proper vaccines required for travel. In addition, many countries require travellers to have a specific vaccination before granting authorization to enter the country. For example, Brazil requires proof of a vaccination against yellow fever for travel to some of its regions.

Required vaccines

Although many vaccines are specific to a given destination, there are basic vaccines that everyone should receive before travelling. These vaccines are included in the Quebec immunization schedule and include vaccination against:

  • diphtheria;
  • tetanus;
  • hepatitis B;
  • measles;
  • rubella;
  • mumps;
  • pertussis (whooping cough);
  • polio.

Other additional vaccines may be required depending on the country visited. Among these vaccines are those for cholera, hepatitis A and yellow fever.

Required vaccines vary greatly from one situation to another. To help you properly plan your vaccination schedule, you should consult a healthcare professional, or better yet, a specialized travel health clinic. These professionals can determine which vaccines you should receive according to your travel destination, your physical condition and prior vaccination history. 

Practical aspects

If a vaccine requires several doses, a delay may sometimes be required between each dose. As well, it may take a certain amount of time to reach the maximum effect of a vaccine. To ensure you receive optimal protection during your trip, you should plan to receive a vaccination in the allotted time.

While on your trip, bring a copy of your vaccination record along with you to prove that you have received all vaccines required by the country you are visiting.

Vaccination is a safe way to prevent many diseases. Do not hesitate to consult your pharmacist if you have any questions regarding the vaccines you need before your trip. Once you are protected by the proper vaccinations, you will have peace of mind on your trip.

Where to find a travel health's clinic?

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