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Staying Healthy When You Travel

Traveling outside of Canada? You may require immunizations depending on your destination, the length of your stay, and whether or not your routine immunizations are up-to-date. The Porcupine Health Unit's Travel Clinic provides immunizations at a cost to help you stay healthy while traveling.

There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada.

Travelers should contact the Porcupine Health Unit well in advance to inquire about whether or not Yellow Fever vaccine is required. The Porcupine Health Unit will then be able to advise you on your options including possibly travelling out of town to receive the Yellow Fever vaccine.

Before you leave

1. Check your destination and travel advisories

The best first step is to check to see whether or not your destination has special vaccination requirements. Go to Travel Health Online to check your destination for immunization recommendations (registration is free).

It's also a good idea to check for travel advisories when you're planning your trip and also just before you leave. Visit these sites for travel advisories and more information about having a safe and enjoyable trip:

Here are other sites from international agencies to visit for more information:

2. Book a Travel Clinic appointment

Since it can take several weeks for an immunization to protect you against a disease, you should consult our Travel Health Clinic or your family physician 6 to 8 weeks before your trip in order to allow enough time for the vaccines or immunizing agent to take effect.

You can book your appointment directly with the Porcupine Health Unit by telephone or e-mail. Remember to tell us where you live and when and where you will be going on your trip.

Please bring the following items to your appointment:

    • Your Immunization Record
    • Your Health Card
    • Your complete travel itinerary
    • A list of your current prescription medications

Payment methods for available vaccines:

    • Cash
    • Cheque
    • Debit, Visa and Mastercard (in Timmins, Cochrane, Hearst and Kapuskasing only)

While you are travelling

If you get sick when you are travelling and require medical assistance, visit the Government of Canada's site for instructions and recommendations for Canadian travellers.

When you return home

Some diseases, such as malaria, may not become apparent until after you return from your trip. Visit a health care provider if you develop any signs of illness, especially within the first two months of your return and inform them of your travel history.

It's also important to complete your series of vaccines when you return so you are ready for your next trip.

Remember, even the most popular tourist destinations can pose health risks. If you have any concerns, contact your doctor or nurse practitioner.