Fun in the sun: Immunizations to consider for a safe summer
With most Canadian provinces trading in their red status for green, high rates of COVID-19 vaccination rates are teasing freedom we haven’t had in almost two years! All this in time for summer, too, when terraces swell with thirsty patrons, parks fill will happy, playful families, and backyard BBQs become a weekend standard.
The forecast for this summer calls for lots of catching up with important people, followed by a bunch of outdoor activity. Even though green usually means “go”, we would encourage readers to continue to err on the side of caution! Integrate immunizations into your plans this summer to make sure you enjoy the season to its fullest!
Planning on travelling? Book your COVID-19 vaccines!
The summer often presents opportunities to travel, and though the last year and a half has been spent at a distance, laws and regulations are starting to ease as COVID diagnoses drop. Make sure you protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Before booking those plane tickets, consider informing yourself on these three priorities1:
- Do you have both COVID-19 vaccines?
- Does the country you’re going to require self-quarantine or a negative COVID test before arrival?
- What are the coronavirus laws to respect in the country you’re travelling to?
Definitely make room in your bags for extra face masks and hand sanitizer.
The COVID-19 vaccines are totally free and accessible to all Canadians! Note that there are two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that you need to book. The second dose can be administered a minimum of four weeks after your first dose and should provide full immunization after two weeks.
To book your free COVID-19 vaccines, find province-specific information on our website.
The great outdoors… and all its obstacles
The summer season is all about indulging in playtime! Whether that be camping, biking, or hiking, the warmer weather is sure to lure you outdoors, the cold bite of winter now only a distant memory. That said, the appeal of being outside comes with risks, namely: the sun, the critters, and the public fixtures.
Three words: Always. Wear. Sunscreen. We know last winter went on forever, but foregoing SPF entirely while soaking up direct sunlight could result in a myriad of issues. There are the short-term discomforts of sun burns, heat rash and heat stroke (actually, here are three more key words: always drink water!), but the long-term risks include wrinkles (GASP!), sun spots, and more seriously, melanoma2.
Everything comes alive during the summer… including all of its critters. Even the simplest of activities require some kind of vigilance.
- Hiking? Watch out for ticks. After every hike, quickly check your skin for tick bites. It’s kind of gross, but they should be easy to spot: they will likely still be attached to you. Though most often harmless, some tick bites could pass on harmful diseases like Lyme disease. If you plan on spending time in an area where you can’t avoid exposure to ticks this summer, talk to your doctor about Lyme disease prevention. Find more resources on our Lyme Disease Resources page.
- Sitting outside? Be mindful of mosquitos. Did you know that, depending on where you live in the world, mosquito bites can sometimes be fatal? Travelers should particularly look for immunizations against yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis, and look into taking preventative measures against malaria. Make sure you’re protected against risks if you’re travelling to a country where mosquitos can cause a lot more than just an uncomfortable bump. Find more resources on our Beware of Mosquito Bites page.
- Bringing garbage and recycling to the curb? Keep an eye out for wayward raccoons. With this more temperate climate extending deep into the hours of the night, it’s possible for us to enjoy more time outside. However, that perk extends to other nocturnal creatures, too. A startled raccoon resulting in a bite could transmit rabies and must be treated as quickly as possible. Find more resources on our Rabies Resources page.
School’s out for summer! With children flocking to public parks to burn through all that extra energy, exposing broken skin to highly contaminated soil, dust or other equipment could pose serious risk, like tetanus. If possible exposure occurs, it’s important to connect with your health care professional to determine if tetanus immunization is required.
Have any questions about available immunizations for a safe summer? Talk to your doctor or health care provider to know where to begin.
Brought to you by Vaccines411.ca – know where to go for your vaccinations.
This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Note: the hyperlinks that direct to other sites are not continuously updated. It is possible that some links become untraceable over time. Thank you.
- COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders.
- Is Sunbathing Good for You? Benefits, Side Effects, and Precautions.