Vaccines You May Need Before Travelling Abroad

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Many Canadians travel internationally to escape the cold and often they like to travel to warmer climates like Cuba, Mexico, and Jamaica. But before you travel it’s important to make the appropriate preparations, especially in regards to your health.

If you’re looking for professional advice, click here to learn more about how MEDs Pharmacy Group can help with your vacation preparations. Not only can you purchase travel-sized toiletries but you can also receive essential vaccinations that you may need when travelling abroad.


This viral disease is highly contagious and common in most parts of the world so it’s important to make sure your vaccines are up-to-date regardless of whether or not you are travelling. The vaccine is safe and cost-effective, though not recommended for pregnant women.

Before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, major epidemics were common and caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year. Unfortunately, measles is still the cause of lost lives, primarily of children under 5, with around 110,000 deaths globally in 2017.

Hepatitis A and B

The medical term for inflammation of the liver, hepatitis can either be acute (short term illness, after which a person recovers) or chronic (long term illness, usually more than 6 months). Hepatitis is highly contagious and can be transmitted through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person.

Hepatitis A and B are the more common types and you should get vaccinated for them before travelling. The Government of Canada website has a useful tool where you can look up your country of destination and see which vaccines are recommended and/or required.


Sorry to get your hopes up, but no, there is no mosquito vaccine (if only). Mosquitos get their own special section since they are carriers of an array of diseases. It’s important to always take measures to protect yourself from these pests by wearing light coloured, loose-fitting clothing and using insect repellent.

Yellow Fever

This viral infection causes damage to the liver and other internal organs and is potentially fatal. Some countries require proof that you have received a yellow fever vaccination before allowing you to enter the country. Others may require you to have been vaccinated for yellow fever if you have passed through an area where yellow fever can occur. Be sure to check on this before travelling.

Zika Virus

This mosquito-transmitted virus typically causes no noticeable symptoms but can pose significant health risks to unborn children. The risks of birth defects include abnormally small heads (microcephaly), brain abnormalities, vision and hearing loss, and more.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for the Zika virus. Pregnant women are advised to avoid areas where it is known to occur or to otherwise take extreme precautions against mosquito bites.


Another illness that unfortunately lacks a vaccine, dengue or dengue fever causes severe flu-like symptoms that can be fatal.

Always Be Prepared

If there are two things you should take away after reading this it’s that getting the recommended vaccinations before travelling is important, and that mosquitos are the absolute worst!

But in all seriousness, prevention is the best way to protect your health. Be sure to consult a health care professional well before planning any trips abroad.