Vaccinations seem to be top of mind here in Toronto. This is one area that I definitely do not want to rush so I have spent time figuring out what the vaccination process for family travel should look like. The first step has been trying to figure out the current “immunization” of the family. It is embarrassing but a few weeks ago, I was not entirely sure which shots I have had. This is in contrast to my wife who has a fully documented vaccination history in a well-maintained file folder. My children were an easy solve as they share the same doctor since birth. All of their information is on file digitally.
I called my doctor and he told me that there is no central repository of information that keeps track of my vaccinations. He could only tell me the ones that he had administered. That did not really help as he had only given me a tetanus booster. I tried to track down the travel clinic I went to in university but came up short (I guess some clinics shut down). I could have called Toronto Health (I was told they would be able to give me the details of the vaccinations I got in school) but they have more important things to do. I ended my search by picking up the phone and calling my mother. Within a couple days, a tiny blue booklet with my vaccination history arrived at my house. When in doubt, I phone my mom.
That little blue book helped fill in the gaps. I am by no means covered against everything but that information will save some unnecessary pin pricks later on. Some of the ones that I knew I had are well past their 10 year efficacy period. Booster shots appear on the horizon. At least I know what I am working with. That knowledge was one of the key asks from the travel clinics I had reached out to so far.
Another thing I had to consider is that the travel clinics I spoke to charge for their services. Due to never-ending desire to save money, I read my current medical coverage from my emploer. Based on my unique plan, I think I am covered. In case that turns out to be false, I believe vaccinations can count as medical expenses that can be claimed on my tax return. The reason I mention this is that we are going to have to pay out of pocket for the majority of our travel-related vaccinations. For a family of four this is not going to be cheap. Even though I had planned around spending $1,000, I really would like to cross that item off the budget and assign that money to something more fun.
Ciao for now
Yes it’s good to keep track, I just started about 3 years ago with my travel vaccine book. I never did before! Hope we can all travel again soon!