What is a Travel Vaccination or Immunization?
In our globalized, modern, and mobile world, over 1 million people travel internationally each day. In many countries, vaccine preventable diseases are still common even though they have been eradicated from North America. Without vaccines, epidemics of many preventable diseases will return, resulting in increased illness and deaths and a lower quality of life. Every year thousands of Canadians travel throughout the world. With this travel comes the potential for exposure to conditions and diseases that are vastly different from those encountered here at home.
Vaccination before travel is imperative to ensure global public health and to help individuals stay healthy during and after their travels. As such, Kingston Travel Vaccination Clinic is committed to ensuring maximum immunization coverage in all populations from children, to members of the workforce, to the elderly, to international travelers via our travel clinic located in Kingston.
A vaccination (immunization) is the prevention or treatment of an infectious disease by injecting a weakened or dead micro-organism (bacterium or virus) into the body. Some vaccines can be given as shots and others as drops or capsules to be swallowed. Your body respond to the weakened bacteria or virus by producing antibodies. As a result, the antibodies protect you if and when you are exposed to the real disease. However, most antibodies only remain effective for a limited amount of time–anywhere from five to ten years; that is why you need to receive “booster” shots every so often to replenish or “upgrade” your antibodies. For the flu vaccine, the type of flu virus that goes around changes slightly every year, necessitating a change in the vaccine to protect against it, which is why you typically need a flu vaccine every year.
Commercial vaccines undergo rigorous testing before being put on the market; they are completely safe for most people, and the risks are much smaller than the danger posed by the disease itself.