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Booster vaccines

Booster vaccines
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21 May 2018

Are all your boosters up to date?

Not all vaccines provide lifelong protection and you may need to have some shots done again, or boosted. Your healthcare provider should have your vaccination records – or you may have kept certificates and records yourself. When you come for your travel jabs at our Calgary clinic our nurse advisers will discuss your vaccination history with you. It is worth bringing your certificates of vaccination as this will help our specialist travel health nurses give you the right advice.

Cholera booster

You need a booster for cholera every two years if you are still at risk of exposure. Vaccination against cholera is recommended to anyone who is not able to take normal food and water precautions. We have more detailed information about vaccination against cholera.

Diphtheria booster

Canadian children and teens are protected from this dangerous illness by their routine vaccinations. If you completed your childhood vaccinations, and you are at risk of exposure to respiratory illnesses during travel, a ten-yearly diphtheria booster may be recommended. The vaccine Revaxis also protects against tetanus and polio. Learn more about diphtheria vaccination from our vaccines page.

Hepatitis booster

The hep A shot will protect you for four years – but if you travel frequently to areas where sanitation is poor, you can get a hepatitis A booster six to 12 months after the first dose. The hep A booster shot extends your protection for up to 25 years. Vaccination against hepatitis B consists of a course of vaccines over several months and this will give protection for at least five years – but you must complete the course.

Japanese encephalitis booster

The JE shot is initially administered in two injections, and can be boosted with a single shot between a year and two years later. Frequent travellers may find this option to be good value. Ask your travel health adviser if a booster for Japanese encephalitis is appropriate for you.

Meningococcal meningitis booster

Get vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis every five years if you continue to be exposed to this infection which is spread via respiratory droplets. A booster for meningitis may be needed if you are travelling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj as you need a valid certificate less than five years old to get a visa.

Polio booster

Polio is considered eradicated in most parts of the world but you may still risk exposure to this potentially life-changing virus during travel. Polio occurs where sanitation is poor, often where the infrastructure has broken down. If you completed the Canadian childhood vaccine schedule then a 10-yearly booster of Revaxis – which also protects against tetanus and diphtheria – is recommended for at-risk travellers.

Rabies booster

If you have previously completed a course of rabies vaccine (three shots over three to four weeks) you can get a booster every ten years while you are at risk of exposure.

Tetanus booster

People who grew up in Canada will often be protected from tetanus by the Canadian childhood vaccine schedule. If you completed the course of Revaxis, which also protects against polio and diphtheria, you can get a tetanus booster every ten years.

Tick-borne encephalitis booster

The booster for TBE needs to be taken every three to five years (depending on age). If you have previously completed the full course of tick-borne encephalitis vaccine and you are still exposed through travel ask your travel health nurse if the TBE booster would suit you.

Yellow fever booster

Confused about whether your yellow fever certificate has expired? It’s not surprising: the rules changed in 2016. Since 2016 the yellow fever vaccine has been considered to offer lifelong protection, and your certificate will say as much. Certificates issued before 2016 have an expiry date of ten years after issue – but this no longer applies: they, too, are valid for life. Learn more about travelling to a yellow fever area from the Government of Canada. And for peace of mind, you can always ask your travel health nurse to confirm that your certificate is as it should be.

How do I make an appointment for travel vaccinations in Calgary?

Canadian Travel Clinics can offer same-day vaccinations at our travel clinics in Calgary. Make an appointment online right now.