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Canada - Health Risks, Inoculations, Vaccinations and Health Certificates

The vaccinations that you may need for a trip to Canada do vary depending upon your own health and your country of origin. For those who are in general good health, it is simply a question of keeping standard vaccinations up to date. These include vaccinations for illnesses such as influenza, polio, MMR and diphtheria. In addition to the standard vaccinations it is recommended that you have a vaccination for Hepatitis B. If you are going to be working with animals then a rabies vaccination is also a good idea, although this is not normally a consideration for those who are going to be living and working in the cities.

There are a number of diseases which occur throughout the north American continent and those travelling to the country should be aware of them. These include Lyme disease and West Nile Fever. The health departments of the individual provinces can provide detailed information on current health risks in the area and programs that are being established to deal with them. The health service in Canada is a good system and deals quickly and efficiently with potential outbreaks of illnesses.

As many diseases are spread via insect bites then you should ensure that during your time in Canada you take preventative measures against insects. Strong insect repellents are advised, particularly if you are spending time in rural areas during the summer months and keeping your arms and legs covered can also help to deter insects.

Canada has good quality drinking water so there are few risks, unless you are in a rural area and take water from a private source rather than the mains. In which case unless you are sure that the water has been filtered you will need to boil it or treat it to make it suitable for drinking and use in cooking.

If you are travelling from countries where diseases such as yellow fever are in existence then you may need to prove that you have been immunised against them, in order for the Canadian authorities to be sure that you will not spread an infection when you arrive. If you are unsure then you will need to check with a medical professional who will assess your level of risk and advise accordingly. Those who are travelling from the US or the EU will not need a health certificate unless they have recently spent long periods of time in an ‘at risk’ region of the world.

Sun exposure is not a health risk although some areas do experience high temperatures during the summer months. The severe cold during the winter in northern parts of the country can be a risk for all, so care should be taken not to go outside without layers of warm clothing.

Before you travel you can check with the foreign office department of your government for the latest recommendations on the types of health risks which you should consider and the vaccinations that may be required.

Useful Resources

Health Canada
Tel: 613 957 2991

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.

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