Vaccinations for Travel from a Canadian’s Perspective

Last Updated on by Kendrick

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Karen and I just finished getting all our vaccinations done prior to going on my one year trip. The entire process has been confusing, because we wanted to be safe without having to spend a ton of money for vaccines we don’t really need.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert or authority on vaccines. You should consult with a physician or a travel clinic before getting vaccinated.

Figuring Out What is Necessary

Yellow Fever Cards

After thorough research, and a lengthy consultation with a pharmacist, we have narrowed down a list of necessary and optional immunizations. Besides the Yellow Fever vaccine, we are happy to announce we have already received all the necessary shots that will prevent death.

We first receive following six routine vaccines: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Polio.

The six vaccines were divided into two separate shots:

  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio

The shots are free but do keep in mind that there is a needle disposal fee of about $20. Another word of caution: the shots are painful and I actually got sick for a week as a result of one of the vaccine’s side effects.

Because we will be traveling to areas where Yellow Fever is present, we made sure to get immunized for that as well. Many places require you to have a Yellow Fever card handy before you can enter their country making this vaccine one of the mandatory ones to get.

We also got vaccinated for Typhoid and Hepatitis A. Lucky for us Canadians, we all get the Hepatitis B vaccination when we are in grade 6 so that is one shot we did not have to obtain prior to traveling.

Why did we decide to pay for Typhoid and Hepatitis A? We got vaccinated for Typhoid and Hepatitis A because we will definitely be eating street food when we go to Asia. While contracting Hepatitis A is typically not fatal, you could be ill for up to two months. It just made sense to get vaccinated in order to avoid wasting two months of my trip being sick.

Pre-Trip Immunizations

The cost for getting Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Yellow fever shot came to about $277 per person.

Other vaccinations (and their cost) that we decided not to go for are the following:

  • Meningitis – $144.66
  • Rabies – $242.67
  • Cholera – $50.67
  • Traveler's Diarrhea – $99
  • Japanese Encephalitis – $217

We will not be traveling to Meningitis infected region making it easy to opt out from getting this shot.

Rabies vaccinations are apparently short lasting and therefore the treatment is best administered immediately after bite or scratch occurs from an infected animal.

Cholera and Traveler’s Diarrhea vaccines aren’t guaranteed to protect you. After speaking with other travelers, we were advised that it is better to save money and not get the shot. Should we contract either disease, it is best to just let it pass naturally through proper hydration and rest.

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