International travelers advised to think ahead for vaccination

Northern Health encourages residents with international travel plans to think ahead when it comes to vaccination requirements for their destinations. NH will be redeveloping its delivery of travel health immunizations, effective January 2009.

Among the changes international travelers will notice are a restructuring of fees and a consolidation of services from 27 to 14 sites across the north. Northern Health is the final health authority to make changes to its travel health services, which are not covered under the Canada Health Act and have never been publicly funded.

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel(CATMAT) sets standards for provision of travel immunizations. In smaller communities, low service levels have posed a
challenge for public health nurses to meet their practice standards.

"We look forward to providing Northern residents with a more consistent and coordinated travel health immunization program," said Kathy MacDonald, Regional Director, Preventative Public Health. "The changes
are necessary in order to continue providing this service, and they will also help to improve the delivery of basic public health services in our Northern communities."

Northern Health will offer travel health services in the following communities:
o Smithers
o Terrace
o Kitimat
o Prince Rupert
o Queen Charlotte City
o Prince George
o Vanderhoof
o Burns Lake
o Quesnel
o McBride
o Mackenzie
o Fort St. John
o Dawson Creek
o Fort Nelson

In some communities, travel health immunizations may also be available through private providers and some physicians’ offices.

For more information on travel health immunizations for adults, residents can call HealthLink BC tollfree at 8-1-1, go online at or TTY at 7-1-1 for people who are speech or hearing impaired. Registered nurses at HealthLink BC can provide confidential non-emergency health advice and information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Translation services are available in 130 languages.

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