If you are planning a trip, whether for business or pleasure, you may need to check up on your vaccine status, depending upon your destination. Apart from vaccines required for specific illnesses that can be contracted in tropical destinations, a trip is also the perfect time to see if your basic vaccines are still up-to-date.
Specific vaccines for specific destinations
When you visit a particular country, you may be exposed to different illnesses that have current vaccines, such as hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and typhoid.
Make sure you research the vaccine requirements of each country you are travelling to; in fact, many countries require that you get vaccinated before being allowed to visit them. This is sometimes the case with yellow fever. Do your research well before leaving so that you are not confronted with nasty surprises when you arrive at your destination.
Protection for life?
It is a common myth that vaccines are no longer required when we are adults. Basic vaccines given during childhood do not guarantee permanent immunity. Some vaccines require updated doses to remain immune.
Before leaving on your trip, check your vaccine status with a qualified healthcare professional. It is the best way to gain peace of mind.
It is also important to note that vaccines are not effective the minute they are injected. In the majority of cases, you should way several days—if not several weeks—before leaving on your trip and being immune to the disease. Don’t wait until last minute to get vaccinated!
Québec’s Immunization Program has changed over the past few decades. Depending on your age, you may have not received certain vaccines during your childhood, because they were not offered at the time (ex.: the vaccine against hepatitis A) or were still being researched (ex.: the human papillomavirus vaccine)
Several new vaccines are now offered to people over the age of 50 to protect them against the risk of some illnesses that can develop as they age, such as zona or pneumococcal pneumonia).
Catching up from childhood
It is never too late to get vaccinated. If you didn’t receive vaccines when you were a kid, you can still get them as an adult.
Where can people find reliable information on vaccines
Your family doctor can identify your needs with respect to vaccines, whether you need updates from vaccines you got as a child or new vaccines based on your age or travel plans.
Several pharmacies offer vaccination services, whether or not for travel. Certain fees may apply. Talk to the professionals at the pharmacy lab for more details.