Travelling Outside Canada? Get Current on Your Vaccinations First

With the summer holiday season approaching, you might be making plans to do some travelling abroad. While booking flights and hotel rooms is usually the first step, making sure you and your family are up to date on all age-appropriate vaccinations is another important part of the trip planning process.

The majority (78%) of Canadians believe that travelling outside of Canada puts them at risk for a number of vaccine-preventable diseases, according to a survey conducted by Insights West on behalf of London Drugs. Despite this, only half (52%) of those who have previously travelled overseas say they have ever received a vaccination specifically for travel. Just three in 10 (31%) are aware that the Government of Canada recommends that Canadians visit a travel clinic before travelling.

A Convenient Way to Update Your Immunity

“Travel vaccinations can be administered by pharmacists and this can be a more convenient, time-saving option for Canadians,” says Lily Liang, a Travel Clinic Pharmacist at London Drugs.

Travel Clinics are offered at select London Drugs locations and Certified Injection Pharmacists can administer common travel vaccinations such as hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, typhoid, and traveller’s diarrhea as well other recommended vaccinations like rabies, Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, pneumonia, shingles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, and rubella.

Liang says getting current on your measles vaccination is particularly important right now, due to reported outbreaks throughout North America.

“The measles vaccine is the best way to prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus. If you’re planning an international trip, or if you are unsure of your immunization status, get vaccinated before travelling.”

More than a quarter (28%) of Canadians say they did not receive vaccination for travel because they didn’t feel it was necessary. Yet nine in 10 (89%) Canadians say they strongly believe that travel vaccinations and medications protect themselves and others when travelling and six in 10 (61%) agree that it’s important to review their immunization history before travelling.

“The results seem contradictory but the reemergence of vaccine-preventable diseases has caused some concern and confusion about vaccination. It is particularly important for those planning to travel internationally to get vaccinated,” advises Liang. “Beyond the serious health threats of not being vaccinated, travelling without them can really ruin a holiday if you or your loved ones become sick. No one wants to spend their vacation at a doctor’s clinic or hospital in a foreign country.”

Most (79%) Canadians say they are likely to visit their personal doctor to learn about vaccinations before travelling overseas, with pharmacies being the next most popular choice (61%).

London Drugs’ Travel Clinic

London Drugs’ Travel Clinic Pharmacists have obtained specialized training from the International Society of Travel Medicine and have their Travel Health® designation. They can provide advice about medications, vaccinations and health supplies needed for travel as well as the following services:

  • Comprehensive destination consults
  • Personalized travel health advice and record keeping
  • Administration of vaccines and boosters
  • Direct insurance billing

To book a Travel Clinic appointment before your next trip, visit

Health Tips Video: Stay Safe and Healthy While Travelling

Find out what travel vaccinations you need at London Drugs

Travel is an incredible way to get outside of your comfort zone, both figuratively and literally. You can enjoy new experiences, try some exciting new foods, and meet amazing new people across the world. It’s no wonder that travel is good for your mental health. But stepping outside of your normal routine can sometimes make it harder to keep up your physical health.

When planning a trip, there are a few things to take into consideration in order to stay healthy.

Pre-trip Vaccinations

Getting vaccinated before your trip can protect you from dangerous diseases you may encounter while travelling.

We’re incredibly lucky in Canada that we don’t have to worry much about getting serious diseases like typhoid, yellow fever, or Japanese encephalitis. But travellers need to consider the health risks where they’re going and ensure they’re prepared, says London Drugs pharmacist Lily Liang.

What Vaccines Do You Need?

The vaccines you need will depend on where you’re going and what you plan on Find out what travel vaccines you need at London Drugsdoing there. The risks will be different in different countries, or in urban areas versus more remote locations. Thankfully, many diseases like Hepatitis A and B are preventable with immunization.

The Public Health Agency of Canada lists travel health notices on its website, or you can talk to a London Drugs Travel Clinic Pharmacist for advice about what vaccinations or precautions you should take.

Some countries will also require proof of vaccination in order for you to enter. For example, proof of vaccination for yellow fever is required for people visiting certain countries in South America and Africa. London Drugs is a Designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre, and our Travel Clinic Pharmacists can vaccinate you and provide a certificate of proof.

How to Pack Your Medications

Find out what travel vaccines you need at London Drugs

If you have a chronic health condition, you can still travel! Make sure you have enough of your medications to last through the trip (plus some extra just in case!), and carry a record of all your medications and vaccinations. Be sure to keep your medications in their original containers.

Get a letter from your doctor explaining your condition and any medical supplies you’ll bring with you. This can make it much easier to get through security and borders without any trouble.

If you’ll be crossing time zones, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about adjusting your medication schedule.

Buying Medical Insurance

Find out what travel vaccines you need at London Drugs

Lastly, consider travel medical insurance. Your provincial health care plan and extended benefits through an employer may not cover every situation. Accidents happen!

The best way to ensure you’ll have a fantastic trip is to be prepared. Talk to a health professional or one of our Travel Clinic Pharmacists at least 6-8 weeks before you travel to ensure you have all the information you need.

For more information about travel immunizations and staying healthy while travelling, visit our travel clinic webpage or book a travel clinic appointment.