Vaccinations for Traveling to Canada

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Depending on the country you are travelling from, you may be required to obtain a travel Visa to visit Canada. This might involve a completed medical exam, which may or may not include getting specific vaccinations.

Whether or not you need a travel Visa, it is good practice to ensure that you have your vaccinations up to date before travelling to any country. See the Government of Canada for more information on which countries require a travel Visa.

 

Recommended Vaccines for All Travelers

All travelers who are visiting any country, including Canada, should ensure that they have their routine vaccinations.

  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
  • Tdap (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Polio
  • Influenza (recommended yearly)

 

Recommended for Some Travelers

While the routine vaccinations are usually all that is necessary for many people who are traveling to Canada, there are certain circumstances that will necessitate the need for you to receive additional immunization. These will be based on your own personal health, where you are traveling from, how long you will be staying, and what activities you will be partaking in while you are out of your own country:

  • Hepatitis A: While major outbreaks are rare, some people can contract hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Canada.
  • Hepatitis B: Contracted via sexual contact with an infected partner and blood products (such as contaminated needles). It is recommended to get this vaccine if you feel you might partake in any activities that might put you at risk.
  • Rabies: If you feel that you might be involved in outdoor activities in remote areas, bats and other animals that are infected with rabies potentially could bite you. If you are planning on adventure travel, it is recommended that you protect yourself with a rabies vaccine. It is also recommended for travelers who will be working with animals such as wildlife workers and researchers.

 

Although more than 80%* of adults in developed countries have stayed up to date on their immunizations, there is always a risk of exposure. Regardless of the country you are visiting, remember to always take extra precautions and keep your hands clean and germ free. This not only protects you but also protects the people around you.

 

Resources

*IAMAT – http://www.iamat.org/country_profile.cfm?id=178#profile_immunization

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/canada


Photo taken by Nick Winchester

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