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 Content Editor

Immunization and travel

Learn about vaccines that may be recommended when you travel.
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Planning ahead

It is important that all of your recommended vaccines from Alberta’s routine immunization schedule are up to date before you travel.

Contact your local public health or community health centre or call Health Link at 811 to find out if you are up to date or if you need additional doses or booster doses to protect yourself against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, varicella, hepatitis B, influenza, and COVID-19.

Routine immunizations are free for eligible Albertans.

To find out what additional travel vaccines you may need, it is best to contact a private travel clinic, your doctor, or your pharmacist at least 6 weeks before you travel.

The vaccines recommended for you will depend on your age, health, your immunization history, where and when you are travelling, and how long you are travelling for.

Your age and health

Young children who are travelling may need to get their routine immunizations sooner than normally scheduled. Adults may need additional vaccines.

If you are pregnant or have certain medical conditions, such as immune system problems, you may need more or different vaccines than what are generally recommended.

Where you travel

What vaccines you need will depend on where you are travelling.

Measles

You are at risk of being in contact with measles if you travel to areas where measles is spreading. When travelling outside of Canada or to areas within Canada where measles is spreading:

  • children 6 to 11 months old may need an earlier dose of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine.
  • anyone born in or after 1970 without a history of measles or mumps disease should make sure they have had 2 doses of MMR vaccine or MMR-Var vaccine (depending on age).
  • anyone born before 1970 should have 1 dose of MMR vaccine.

You can get these immunizations at your local public health or community health centre.

Other diseases

You should contact a private travel clinic, your doctor, or your pharmacist to see what other travel vaccines you may need if you are travelling outside of Canada or the United States.

Activities

Certain activities can put you at higher risk of contact with diseases that vaccines can prevent. These include:

  • exploring rural areas or those off the usual tourist route
  • taking backpacking trips
  • staying in homes of friends or relatives

Travel vaccines

If you are travelling outside of Canada, other non-routine vaccines may be recommended for you:

To find out what vaccines or medicines you need for travel and when you need them:

  • Contact a private travel health clinic, your doctor, or your pharmacist.
  • See the Government of Canada’s information on travel vaccines.

Most vaccines given for travel are not free. If you want a vaccine and need to pay for it, you can check with your health insurance company to see if it covers the cost.

Current as of: April 5, 2024
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
Our work takes place on historical and contemporary Indigenous lands, including the territories of Treaty 6, Treaty 7 & Treaty 8 and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta and 8 Métis Settlements. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous communities that have been forged in urban centres across Alberta.