Planning a trip? Now’s a good time to check your vaccinations!

If you’re going on a trip, depending on your destination, you may need to get certain vaccines. When you book an appointment to get vaccinated for specific tropical diseases, why not take the opportunity to get booster shots for your other routine vaccinations?

Protect yourself against tropical diseases

Depending on your travel destination, you could be exposed to various diseases for which there is a vaccine, including hepatitis A, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, or typhoid. 

It is important to check whether the country you will be visiting has any specific requirements, as in some parts of the world, vaccination may be mandatory before you are allowed into the country (this is sometimes the case with yellow fever, for example).

Protected for life?

It is a common misconception that booster shots are no longer necessary once you reach adulthood. You should be aware that not all basic vaccines administered in early childhood provide lifelong immunity. Some require booster shots to maintain a strong immune response.

This is notably the case for the DT vaccine, which protects against diphtheria and tetanus, and requires a booster shot every 10 years.

New vaccines

Quebec’s immunization schedule has undergone a number of changes in recent decades. Depending on your age, you may not have received certain vaccines if they weren’t included in the standard schedule during your childhood, e.g., the hepatitis A vaccine, or if they had simply not yet been developed, e.g., the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine.

Several new vaccines are now available for people age 50 and over, to protect them against diseases for which they are at greater risk as they age, for example, shingles or pneumococcal pneumonia.

Making up for vaccinations you missed as a child

It’s never too late to get immunized. If there are shots you didn’t get when you were a child, you can still get them as an adult.

Where to find information and get vaccinated

Your family doctor can help you determine which vaccines you need, whether it be booster shots for your childhood immunizations or a new vaccine recommended for your age group.

Many pharmacies offer vaccination services, including travel-related vaccines. Depending on the type of vaccine, a fee may be charged. Ask the staff at your pharmacy counter for more information.

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