Travel vaccinations

If you are travelling outside of Canada, it’s important to know what vaccinations you need before you go.  Travellers get vaccinated either because certain vaccines are required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.  Most travel vaccines are available at a cost.  

Routine, recommended and required vaccines

Routine

Regardless of your travel destination, it’s important to make sure your routine immunizations are up-to-date. 

Recommended

When you are travelling you may be at risk for a number of diseases that can be prevented by immunization.  Vaccine recommendations will depend on a number of factors including your destination, duration and nature of travel, age and previous immunization history.  Visit a travel clinic or consult your health care provider at least 4-6 weeks before you travel.  This is important because some vaccines may take several weeks to become fully effective and others may require more than one dose.  

A list of vaccines that should be considered for travel to various countries can be found here

Required

Some countries require that you have received certain vaccines prior to entering the country.  For example:

  • Yellow fever vaccination is required by International Health Regulations for travel to some countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South America.
  • Saudi Arabia requires proof of meningococcal vaccination for all pilgrims and proof of polio vaccination for all children going to Mecca during the Hajj.

More information:

HealthLinkBC File #41c: Travel Immunizations for Adults