Depending on your destination, vaccination may be required or recommended before you leave. Vaccines help protect against serious diseases that you could contract while travelling, such as hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, typhoid and cholera.
Visit your pharmacy 4-6 weeks before your trip to make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations. Some vaccines are given in multiple doses and therefore require more time. Your body also needs to build its defenses (antibodies) after the vaccine is administered, which can sometimes take days or weeks.
If you are within the 4-6 week window, it may not be too late! Some travel vaccines can be started prior to departure and completed once you return. For example, the hepatitis A vaccine is recommended to be administered up until the day of departure1. If you require booster shots after you get back, be sure to complete these to ensure that you are fully protected for future travel. Your pharmacist will know how to best adjust the vaccination schedule to ensure you are protected.
Make sure to visit your pharmacist each time you plan to travel abroad. All recommendations will be individualized to your needs, destination and itinerary.
1 Public Health Agency of Canada. Vaccine recommendations for Canadian travellers.