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Frequently Asked Questions


How long before I travel should I see a travel doctor?

Health Canada recommends that you visit a travel medicine clinic 6-8 weeks before you travel as many of the vaccines require more than 1 dose to ensure protective immunity. If you are traveling on short notice it is still important to visit a travel clinic to ensure maximum protection against disease. Your travel doctor will develop your prevention plan based on achieving the maximum amount of protection in the time available.

Are Vaccines Safe?

As stated by Health Canada "vaccines are among the safest tools of modern medicine". Each batch of vaccine is tested by Health Canada for safety and quality before release.

Why do I have to pay when I visit a travel clinic?

There are many services that are not covered by the Alberta Health Insurance plan and travel medicine is one of them. However many private insurance plans will reimburse all or part of your costs. You should save your receipts and check with your insurance provider if applicable.

Why do I need vaccines to return to my home country?

Aren't I immune? If you have left your home country you are no longer immune to malaria, typhoid fever and other childhood infections. You are now Canadian – inside and out.

Why should I get vaccinations if I'm just going to a resort?

Although resort vacations may provide a certain level of safety, not even the best resorts are without some risk of disease transmission. A Travel Clinic visit ensures that you have the information and immunizations recommended to reduce your risk wherever you travel.

What do I need to bring with me to my appointment?

You should bring your travel itinerary, documentation of previous immunizations (if available) and your health history.

Are there any side effects to vaccinations?

You may have some swelling or tenderness at the injection site, or a mild fever, but these reactions are most often minor and temporary and can be treated symptomatically. If you have any questions regarding your vaccines the travel medicine staff will be happy to answer them.

Travel Health Advisory

Don't forget to check the Travel Health Advisory Bulletins from the Public Health Agency of Canada before you leave.

Advisory Bulletins

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