July 28th, 2015

Staying healthy while you travel


Everyone loves a vacation. The promise of complete relaxation, of adventure, and of seeing first-hand the sights and customs of other lands can be magical. So too can the build-up to a vacation—the planning, the packing, the counting down of days until you leave home.

Part of this planning should include a visit to a travel clinic to make sure you have all the right vaccinations to prevent becoming ill on, or after, your vacation. While relatively few vacations lead to illness (aside from the ubiquitous Montezuma’s Revenge), the risks involved are not worth taking. Hepatitis, for example, can irreparably damage the liver and its prevention should be taken seriously.

To help you better prepare for your trip, London Drugs has introduced Travel & Immunization Clinics to the following stores:

British Columbia:

  • Granville & Georgia, Vancouver
  • Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
  • Morgan Crossing, Surrey
  • Ironwood Plaza, Richmond
  • Trenant Park Mall, Delta
  • West Oaks Mall, Abbotsford
  • Lansdowne Village, Kamloops
  • Parkwood Place, Prince George
  • Sunnycrest Mall, Gibsons
  • Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, Penticton
  • Garibaldi Village, Squamish
  • Vernon Square, Vernon


  • Main Street, Airdrie
  • Beddington Towne Centre, Calgary
  • North Town Centre, Edmonton
  • Windermere, Edmonton
  • Lethbridge Town Square, Lethbridge
  • 50th Avenue, Red Deer

At these locations, one of our Travel Medicine Pharmacists can advise you on the medications, vaccinations and health supplies that you’ll need for your trip.

Vaccines are mandatory for travel to particular destinations. For example, if you have passed through an area where yellow fever is known to occur, many countries won’t allow you entry unless you have been properly vaccinated. London Drugs is a Designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre. Some vacation destinations require you to carry an International Certificate of Vaccination to prove that you have been vaccinated against diseases prevalent within the territory. Our Travel Medicine Pharmacists can vaccinate you and provide you with a certificate of proof that this has been done.

If you’re travelling to an exotic destination, be mindful of the following common illnesses:

  • cholera
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • malaria
  • travellers’ diarrhea
  • typhoid fever

Other diseases travellers may need to be vaccinated against are:

  • chicken pox
  • diphtheria
  • European tick-borne encephalitis
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • influenza
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • measles
  • meningococcal disease
  • mumps
  • pertussis (whooping cough)
  • pneumococcal disease
  • poliomyelitis (polio)
  • rabies
  • rubella (German measles)
  • tetanus
  • yellow fever

You should plan to visit a London Drugs Travel & Immunization Clinic six to eight weeks prior to your planned departure to determine what vaccinations and/or medications you may need.

Hepatitis A and B

Hepatitis A and B are easy to contract in many parts of the world. Hepatitis A—a serious liver disease that is usually contracted by ingesting food or drinks that have been contaminated with human waste—is the most common vaccine-preventable disease in travellers. Those travelling to Mexico, South or Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, South East Asia, China and the Middle East are at greatest risk for contracting hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is not a disease confined to poor areas. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that most cases of hepatitis A occur among travellers who stayed in resorts and high-quality hotels. Hepatitis B is a type of hepatitis commonly contracted through exposure to the body fluids of an infected person, and is less common. Vaccines against hepatitis A and B are usually given together in a vaccine product called Twinrix®, available from the London Drugs pharmacy. This vaccine can be injected by your doctor (or other primary health professional) or by one of our Travel Medicine Pharmacists or other certified injection pharmacist. Please check with the pharmacy when you pick up your Twinrix®.

More travel health reminders

Be sure to carry a sufficient supply of your prescription medication for your trip. This should be in original packaging, showing your name, the name of the prescribing doctor, and the type of medication. It is always a good idea to carry a few extra days’ worth of medication in case you’re delayed on your return trip.

London Drugs pharmacists in any of our 78 locations can advise you on the proper use of medications on your trip, First Aid concerns, and how to prevent or deal with traveller’s diarrhea. If you have diabetes, we recommend that you make an appointment with one of our Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)s to make sure you continue to manage your condition effectively during your vacation. For more information on how London Drugs can help you plan for a safe and healthy vacation, please visit our Travel & Immunization Clinic website at www.ldtravelclinics.com.

More travel health reminders

Many a trip has been spoiled—and financial difficulties arisen— from not having enough travel insurance coverage. Without travel insurance, you could end up owing thousands of dollars if you become sick or are injured while you are away. This is particularly true for the United States.

The Insurance Services Department of London Drugs Limited recommends that you purchase TuGo™ Traveller Insurance for your trip, to ensure you are protected in the event of a mishap.

TuGo™ Traveller Insurance offers you:

  • Emergency Medical Insurance for:
    • Out of Country
    • Travel Within Canada
    • Visitors to Canada
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption
  • Rental Vehicle Protection
  • Baggage Insurance
  • All Inclusive Packages

For more information about the travel insurance plan that will best suit your needs, please call a London Drugs insurance agent at 1-800-681-6677.


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