FAQ’s about travel vaccinations: Canada’s Nova Travel Clinic

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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do I need a consult? When are the vaccinations done?

A: Consultation is necessary to establish your medical and vaccination history as well as your specific destinations and type of travel.  The Nova travel health nurses need this information to tailor your consult to your individual needs.  During consultation you will receive information based on your itinerary as well as advice on how to stay safe and healthy while travelling and any travel advisories that may be in effect.

If you have complex medical problems, the nurse will consult with the clinic infectious diseases and internal medicine specialists.

Vaccinations are done in the same appointment.  If a booster is needed that will be booked at another time.

Q.  Why can’t I just go to a pharmacy for this information?

A: The information given in our consults are tailored specifically to your health needs and itinerary. Our highly qualified travel health professionals work directly with an Infectious Disease specialists in order to give you the highest quality of service.

Every consult is different and it is important to take the time to review your health history. You may not require everything that is advised for the destination.  We take the time to ensure your needs are met prior travel.  A healthy traveller is a happy traveller!

Q. If I only want a prescription, do I still need a consult?

A: A consult is required before any prescription can be given.  We need to know who you are and your past medical history, where you will be going and the type of travelling you will be doing.  The nurse will go over your trip with you and evaluate if you require any prescriptions; if the prescription is required you will receive all the necessary information on the medication prescribed.

A consult is also a good time to find out any additional information you may not know you needed and ask any questions.  Check your extended health coverage they may cover all of or a portion of your visit.

Q. What do I need to bring with me to my consult?

A: Bring any past immunization record you have with you, a list of current medications and your Care Card.  You will be asked to fill out a form for our records.

Q. I am going abroad to visit friends and family.  Do I still need a consult?

A: Even though you may have lived abroad in the past, you may no longer be immune to regional diseases such as malaria.  It is recommended that you receive expert travel advice prior to leaving.

 Q. What is the cost for a consultation?

A: Travel Medicine is not covered by MSP.  The cost for consultation varies depending on how many people will be attending and how complex your trip is. The final price will be determined by the nurse.  For more information regarding costs, please click Fees .

An exact quote is not possible as every individual is different.

Q. Will my provincial health plan cover the cost of the consult?

A: No.  BC Medical no longer covers the cost of consultation.  Most travel clinics are private.

Most extended health plans cover between 70 and 80% of your vaccination costs (some plans may cover all of it).  You should contact your extended health provider to find out if your plan covers travel vaccinations prior to your appointment.  Payments are made up front and a detailed receipt is provided for your claim with DIN #’s (Drug Identification Numbers).

Q. How far ahead should I book my appointment? What if it is last minute?

A: It is recommended that you book your consultation at least 4-6 weeks prior to your departure date.

If you are leaving sooner than 4 weeks, we will do our best to accommodate you as soon as possible. It is never too late to receive travel health advice; some immunizations can provide rapid protection.

Q. Can my family doctor give me a consultation?

A: Most family doctors do not have access to detailed travel information.  General practitioners may give prescriptions for certain vaccines that are available from pharmacies.  Some vaccines cannot be obtained from pharmacies and are not carried by your family doctor.  Other vaccines, such as Yellow Fever, may only be given by a clinic that has been certified by the Public Health Agency of Canada as a designated Yellow Fever  provider.

A Travel Clinic provides a detailed consultation on your trip with up to date information on your destinations, vaccines are done in the same appointment, as well as any prescriptions that may be needed.  For a one stop shop call the Nova Travel Clinic!!

Q. Can I have the consultation over the phone?

A: Nova Travel Clinic does not provide consultation over the phone.  All consultations are booked in advance and may take up to an hour depending on the complexity of the itinerary and the number of people attending.

Q. I am travelling with children, what do I need to do?

A: There are special considerations when travelling with children.  Please see our page “Travelling with Children” for more information.  The nurse will customize your trip to you and your children and inform you of vaccines, preventatives and prescriptions that your child is eligible for.  Protective measures are important to know for all children and adults.

 Q. I have a cold.  Can I still have vaccines?

A: You can still have vaccines if you have a minor cold.  If your illness is serious, or accompanied by fever, you should wait until you are healthy to receive vaccines.

*Always inform the Travel Health Nurse if you are feeling unwell.*

Q. I am pregnant or planning to get pregnant.  Can I still have vaccines?

A: Travelling while pregnant carries certain risks, so a pre-travel consultation is highly recommended.  Always inform the Travel Nurse if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.  For more information, please see Pregnant Travellers.

Q. What are your hours?

A: Nova Travel Clinic is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 4:00.  We are not open between 12:00 and 1:00 or on weekends.

Q. I have lost my vaccination record.  What should I do?

A: Nova travel clinic keeps your records on file and will replace your vaccination record for a small fee.  Some records, such as your Yellow Fever Certificate, are required for entry into certain countries so you should always keep your records in a safe place.

Q. I am feeling unwell post travel. What should I do?

A: If you feel unwell after travelling (including excessive diarrhea) you should immediately consult with your general practitioner.  Inform your doctor that you have recently been travelling and where you travelled to; this is extremely important if you have been to a malaria zone. If needed you may be referred to a specialist.

Q. I was bitten by an animal well I was away, what should I do?

A: If bitten, the wound should be thoroughly washed and seek medical attention immediately. Rabies can be prevented if caught right away; if left untreated rabies is fatal.  Visit your nearest Canadian embassy or IAMAT clinic  if you are abroad (link  www.iamat.org).

Q. I have had a consultation with you before and am now going on a new trip, do I still need to come in?

A: Yes we do require you to have another consultation; as a returning client we do offer a discount.  You will need to update your information with us as well as your health condition and medications.  Different destinations carry different risks, there may be more information you need that you did not receive in your previous consult.

Q. I never got my booster for my hepatitis A or B vaccines, do I need to start all over again?

A: No, The length of time does depend on what strength of dose you will be getting (for Hep A); Hep B you will just continue on where you left off.  For full immunity the series do need to be completed.