Travel Safe News

by Penny Gleave RN, BScN Penny Gleave RN, BScN No Comments

Tb skin test and vaccines for school or work

Tb skin test and vaccines for school or work

Tb skin test and vaccines for school or work – Common questions and answers

We see many people in our clinic who require a Tuberculosis skin test (TB Skin Test) and/or vaccinations (shots) for their school program or employment.  We’ve created a list of common questions clients ask us about the tb skin test and vaccinations.  We hope they may help answer some of your questions too!


I’m starting a new job or school program and I require a TB skin test and vaccinations. Where do I start?

Call us to arrange your appointment(s) 604. 251-1975 and we will book your appointment(s) to suit your schedule.  We will assist you to obtain the necessary vaccines, tb skin testing, and lab work for your school program or employment.


Q:  What do I bring to my appointment?

A: You will need to bring:

+ paperwork from your school or employer listing the vaccinations your require

+ BC Care Card (if you have one)

+ your vaccination records


Q:  How do I find my old vaccination records?

A: Unfortunately, there is no central database containing your vaccine history.  You will need to contact each clinic or office where you received each vaccination.

Common clinics where you may have received vaccinations in the past:

  • your family doctor
  • public health unit (eg. Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health)
  • walk-in clinic
  • travel clinic
  • pharmacy
  • at your elementary and/or high school (You will need to contact your public health office near your school)

If you can’t remember where you received vaccinations in the past, we will assist you with the best plan for your circumstance.


Q:  I was born outside of Canada.  How do I find my vaccination records?

A:   You can try to locate your vaccine history from a family member, doctor’s office, or clinic where you received your childhood vaccines.   If it not possible, we will provide vaccinations required for your employer or school.  We may also recommend you have a blood test to determine your immunization and disease history.


Q: I need a tb test for school or work.  What do I do?

A: Please call us to book an appointment at 604. 251-1975.  We will arrange two appointments for your tb skin test.  This test requires two appointments 48-72 hours apart.

When you book your appointment we will ask if you have received certain vaccines within four weeks of your scheduled tb test.  If you have received vaccinations such as MMR (measles/mumps/rubella), varicella (Chickenpox), shingles vaccine (Zostavax) and yellow fever, we will arrange your appointment one month after you received one of these vaccinations.


Q: Why do I need to make two appointments for a tb skin test?

A:  The tb skin test requires two appointments 48 to 72 hours apart.

Please note the appointments cannot be less than 48 hours or more than 72 hours apart.  If you miss your second appointment, the test becomes invalid and must be done again.

The first appointment is for the tb test: a small amount of Tubersol is injected just under the skin of your arm and creates a small bump.

The second appointment, 48 to 72 hours after the test: your arm will be seen by a nurse to determine the test results.   The nurse must see you in person to assess your arm and to give you your test results.

At the time of your second visit, the nurse will provide proof of your results to give to your school or employer.  Don’t forget to make a copy for your own records.


Q:  My last tb test result was positive but I need a tb test for work or school.  What should I do?

A:  If you have a history of a positive tb skin test, you do not need this test again.  You will need an appointment in our clinic to receive an x ray requisition in order for you to have a chest – ray.  We will explain where to get your chest x ray when you come for your appointment.


Q: I received the BCG (vaccine for tuberculosis) when I was a child.  Can I still have the tb skin test?

A: Yes.  Even if you have a history of receiving a BCG vaccination in the past, you can have the tb skin test safely.


Q:  I have a required list of vaccines to complete for school or work. What should I do?

A:  We provide vaccinations as well as tb skin tests at your appointment(s).  For your appointment you will need to bring your list of vaccination requirements from your school or employer.  The nurse will review your health history and vaccination records together with you.  If you have recent lab results you could also bring these to your appointment.

Most clients can complete their vaccinations at their first appointment. Some patients may need to return for a follow up vaccination if it requires more than one dose.


Q:  I think I have been immunized for the vaccines I require for school or work but I don’t have proof.  Do I need to receive the vaccines again?

A: You will need to make an appointment to determine the best plan for you.  At your appointment, one of our nurses will review your history and will recommend the best plan to ensure you are prepared for school or work.  The nurse will advise if it would be best to receive the vaccines on your visit and/or provide a lab requisition for a blood test.  A blood test will determine your immunization and disease histories.


Q: Do I need to make an appointment with my doctor to receive vaccinations, a tb skin test or lab testing?

A: No.  We we have all the vaccines you will require for your school or work.  We can also provide the tb skin test and lab requisitions if required.   This will save you some time and some pocket money.

Don’t forget to keep all your records of vaccinations and tb skin testing in a safe place.  You may need these important records again in the future!  A helpful free resource to keep your own digital history of your vaccinations is available with CANimmunize.

We will assist you to prepare for this exciting step in your career.  Call us to arrange an appointment today! 604. 251-1975.

by Kristin Gagnon, RN Kristin Gagnon, RN No Comments

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A – Is it a Risk in Canada?

Many people think that Hepatitis A is only a risk when travelling to developing countries. While there is a much higher risk of Hepatitis A in developing countries, risk may also exist in Canada in high-risk groups or during community outbreaks. Thankfully outbreaks are rare but have been associated with imported food contaminated with Hepatitis A or from infected food handlers who can potentially pass the virus on to patrons.


The facts about Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a virus that attacks the liver. It is spread though food and water contaminated by the feces of an infected person. It is more common in developing countries with poor sanitary conditions. It is one of the most common vaccine-preventable infections acquired during travel.

Symptoms begin between 15-50 days after infection with Hepatitis A. However, people are most infectious 1-2 weeks before symptoms begin. Infection may cause no symptoms or range in severity from mild illness to a severe disease lasting several months. Symptoms may include sudden fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark-coloured urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes). The chance of having symptoms and the severity of the disease increases with age. Most children < 6 years of age who are infected do not have symptoms. In developing countries most children have been infected before 10 years of age so epidemics are less common as older children and adults are mostly immune.


Hepatitis A in Canada

Thankfully in developed countries such as Canada the chance of getting Hepatitis A infection is generally low. The disease may be more common in high-risk groups such as homosexual men, intravenous drug users, and those living in areas with inadequate sanitation. The number of people infected with Hepatitis A in Canada has been steadily decreasing due to targeted vaccination in these high-risk groups.

Outbreaks of Hepatitis A in Canada are generally rare but exposures have occurred in supermarkets, restaurants, and elementary schools.

These outbreaks serve as a reminder that Hepatitis A is not only a risk in developing countries. While food handlers aren’t at an increased risk because of their jobs, workers in restaurants and supermarkets can help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A.


How can food handlers prevent the spread of Hepatitis A?

  • ALWAYS wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom
  • Do not handle food if experiencing fever, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Get vaccinated!


Hepatitis A Vaccine

Receiving the Hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to prevent Hepatitis A infection. It is available on its own or in combination with Hepatitis B (Twinrix).

The Hepatitis A vaccine is given in 2 doses between 6 to 12 months apart to individuals 6 months of age and older.

The Twinrix vaccine (Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B combined) is given in 3 doses at 0, 1 and 6 months.

Reactions to the vaccines are uncommon and usually minor including soreness and tenderness at the injection site.


Of course the Hepatitis A vaccine is also recommended before travel!

Love Around the World

Before you travel, protect your health.

Travel Safely with TravelSafe Immunization Clinic