Do I need proof of vaccinations for Canada?

Vaccines Required for Canada

In addition to organizing a visa or travel authorisation before visiting the country, many foreign citizens need to ensure they have the necessary travel vaccinations required for Canada.

As there are several questions related to health matters that need to be completed when filling out a Canada eTA application form, travellers who need to obtain this electronic travel authorisation should make sure they meet all the necessary vaccine requirements.

Does Canada require a yellow fever vaccine?

Whether or not yellow fever vaccinations are required for travel to Canada depends on the country of origin of the visitor and if they have recently been in territories considered at high risk for yellow fever.

These countries are mostly located in tropical areas of Africa and South America, where the disease is transmitted by bites from an infected mosquito. The virus usually attacks the liver, which can result in symptoms including jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin).
Yellow fever vaccinations are also required for children for travel to Canada if they are over 9 months of age have been recently been present in yellow fever countries. The single-dose vaccination is safe and considered effective against yellow fever infection.
Nevertheless, it is not generally recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with weakened immune systems, and adults aged 60 years and older who have not previously received the vaccine.

Other types of Vaccines Required for Canada

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following routine vaccines if travelling to Canda:

  • Chickenpox
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Polio
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • Shingles
  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)

Although Canada is a moderate risk country for Rabies, spread through the saliva of infected animals, travel vaccinations for Canada against this disease are also recommended for long-term visitors to the country who may come into contact with animals.

Although measures and mumps vaccinations are not required for travel to Nova Scotia and eastern Canada, they are highly recommended for some parts of western Canada, which have had outbreaks of these infections in recent months.

Canadian eTA application questions will also ask travellers to confirm whether or not they have ever had tuberculosis.

How long before travel do I need vaccinations for Canada?

Those planning a trip to the country are advised to get vaccinations for travel to Canada at least 4 to 6 weeks before the intended entry date to the country.

This will give the vaccines enough time to begin working inside the body, to ensure the traveller is fully protected by the time they arrive in Canada, as well as to receive multiple vaccines if more than one dose is required.

Those who need to get a yellow fever certificate to visit Canada should be aware that the vaccine takes 10 days to take effect if it is being received for the first time. Therefore, the certificate will only be valid ten days after the date of vaccination.

Even if the traveller has previously received all of the recommended vaccinations for Canada travel, they are still advised to review immunization history with their healthcare provider to ensure that their vaccines are up-to-date.

Their healthcare provider will also be able to discuss any trip-related health concerns the traveller may have about Canada and assess their individual needs. Additional vaccinations may be required depending on the age of the traveller and the activities they have planned for their trip.

Is it obligatory to have health insurance for travelling to Canda?

Other than making sure that they have all the travel vaccinations for Canada that they require, and that they follow any other Canadian travel restrictions that are currently in place, visitors to the country may want to consider taking out health insurance for their trip.

While it is not obligatory for those applying for a Canada ETA to have travel insurance, those who need to obtain an embassy visa for Canada are often asked to provide proof of a valid insurance policy as part of their application.

However, whether or not it is obligatory, all visitors to the country are advised to have up-to-date insurance for Canada to cover any medical costs in case they require treatment for any type of illness or medical emergency while visiting.

In addition to covering medical costs for Canada, some insurance policies will also reimburse holders for canceled trips or changes in travel plans due to medical reasons. Therefore, it’s a good idea to insure yourself to counter both unexpected medical emergencies and unseen disruptions in travel arrangements.