Written by By Staff Writer
(CNN) — Canada is launching a proof of vaccination credential in advance of the vaccine season, to discourage visitors who visit but never have any kind of inoculation.
The card will check the travelers’ readiness for an unvaccinated trip.
The card will reflect national and local health standards, as well as guidance from the World Health Organization.
Vaccinations are the most effective way to prevent disease, according to Canada’s government.
“But while 90% of Canadians are vaccinated, more than 400,000 Canadians travel internationally each year and the majority of those trips are to low-risk countries,” Ottawa said in a news release.
It urged people traveling to lower-risk countries, who often don’t receive vaccinations, to come up with a plan for their stay.
Young people especially can become gravely affected by vaccine-preventable diseases.
An estimated 130 million people are at risk of dying from preventable or vaccine-preventable diseases each year, Canada said.
People who are not vaccinated have been the leading source of illness for North American travelers, Canada said.
According to recent WHO statistics, travelers to low-risk destinations suffer the highest risk of infection.
This has been particularly true of the West Nile virus and yellow fever, for example.
Some countries require that visitors be vaccinated when returning from these places.
However, travelers are often permitted to enter the country without the vaccination.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said it will provide vaccines to health care workers in the developing world in its ongoing global health initiative, the Global Health Security Agenda.
“Canada will also support vaccine assistance and pandemic preparedness efforts in countries such as Haiti, the Central African Republic, Mali, Honduras, Uganda, Panama, Ecuador, Belize, Somalia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh,” the department said.