TRAVEL IMMUNIZATION

Photo by    rawpixel

Photo by rawpixel

Predeparture immunization has two goals; protect travellers against foreign diseases they could encounter during their trip and protect the local population against diseases they could be exposed to because of travellers. Immunization is a personal responsibility that must be taken seriously, because the residents of some countries don’t have access to proper health care and are not equipped to face and fight diseases. Even if you are in good health, you could spread a virus or microbe without even being aware that you had it in the first place. That’s what we call an asymptomatic carrier. If you have good immune defences, you can carry a virus that your system is able to keep under control, but when you’ll come into contact with a non-protected person or someone suffering from immunodeficiency, they risk being contaminated. Diseases can be spread through various ways, including physical contact, infected food or water, mosquitos and other animals.

 

Most Common Diseases Travellers Can Avoid With Vaccination

The cost of vaccines vary between $50 and $200 per dose and some treatments might require up to 3 doses. Malaria medication can cost up to $5 per day and usually requires you to take the treatment a few days before and after your trip. A consultation in a travel health clinic costs between $25 and $75. Considering all this information, it's clear that immunization is a significant aspect of travel budgeting. You can contact a few clinics to get different quotes.

 

Demystifying Vaccination

Contrary to some persistent popular beliefs, the risks associated with vaccination are much lower than the risks associated with the diseases they protect against. These diseases are often incurable and can lead to severe consequences, including death. Vaccines are subject to a rigorous scientific evaluation process and are safe. They contain a little bit of a dead or attenuated bacteria/virus to help the body develop immunity against it. Vaccines can have mild side effects, but they are usually easily manageable. That being said, the decision to receive or not immunization is personal, except for certain diseases like yellow fever and polio for which certain countries might require vaccination in order to visit. Should you decide not to get vaccination, it would be better to choose a destination that does not require immunization or does not pose a risk, in order not to be a public health hazard at your destination or back home. Remember that a traveller must always be mindful and show respect, despite conflictual values and personal boundaries. Visit the Government of Canada travel vaccination website to learn more about recommended and mandatory immunization for every country, have more information about travel-related diseases and be able to make an educated decision.