Trinidad and Tobago
Travel clinic Trinidad and Tabago
Travel health and vaccine advice for Trinidad and Tabago

The twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago lies just off the coasts of Venezuela. Trinidad has lovely hills covered with lush rain forests and untouched mangroves, but a landscape slightly defaced by smoking oil refineries, while Tobago is closer to what would be expected from a Caribbean island, with idyllic white sand beaches fringed by coconut trees and pristine waters. Birthplace of Calypso, Soca and Chutney music, and widely renowned for its fabulous carnival, which has nothing to envy to Rio’s, Trinidad and Tobago has a delightful extravagant and colorful culture, reflecting its population, fascinating mix of Africans, Indians, Europeans and Chinese people.

INFORMATIONS ABOUT HEALTH

Risk of Zika in this Country. Learn More >>

We make every effort to ensure that the information posted on our website is up to date and accurate according to the latest public health recommendations; however, it is impossible for us to make changes on a daily basis.

For the most current travel health recommendations, please call our clinic as make an appointment with one of our travel health professionals.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – RECOMMENDED VACCINES

Hepatitis A Recommended for all travelers.
Tetanus – Diphteria – Pertussis Vaccine Tetanus: In exceptional circumstances (eg, stay in a region where access to health care is limited), for a person aged 18 years or older, 1 dose of DT may be given if 5 years or more has elapsed since the last dose. Otherwise, one booster dose at the age of 50*. Pertussis (Whooping Cough):  1 dose is recommended for pregnant women, for every pregnancy, regardless of immunization history and the interval since the last dose (betwen week 26 and 32). *Only applicable for Quebec.
Measles – Rubella – Mumps Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1970, if not previously given.
Transmission, Symptoms and Prevention – Rabies For travelers at high risk of animal bites or being involved in activities with bats. Clients who plan to visit remote areas may consider receiving this vaccine. Important to note the pre-exposure rabies vaccine is administered in 2 doses with one week interval between doses. Post-exposure vaccination is always recommended, even for those previously vaccinated.
Flu – Influenza Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing or by touching infected surfaces. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine yearly. Vaccine is recommended 14 days prior to departure.
Routine vaccines (dCaT, Polio, Meningococcal, Shingles, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B, HPV, MMR & Varicella) Recommended for all travelers
Causes, Symptoms & Treatment – Typhoid fever Recommended for most travelers, especially those who are staying with friends or relatives; visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water; or prone to “adventurous eating”
Hepatitis B Consider for most travelers; recommended for those who might be exposed to blood or other body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).
The Yellow Fever Vaccine A proof of vaccination against yellow fever may be required upon entry in to this country. Some travellers may not be eligible to receive this vaccine. Please enquire with your health care professional regarding your specific details. It is important to note that the vaccine should be administered at least 10 days prior to your departure. For further information, please consult with the World Health Organization (WHO) website: https://www.who.int/ith/ith-country-list.pdf Not recommended on the island of Tobago.
Turista – Traveler’s Diarrhea (ETEC) Talk to your health care professional about the risks and precautionary measures to take, as well as the Dukoral® vaccine. Important to note that the Dukoral vaccine is an oral vaccine given in 2 doses, recommended at least 2 weeks prior to departure.
Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and/or Zika There are many illnesses that are transmitted via mosquito bites and unfortunately we do not have vaccines to protect us against most of them. It is important to inquire with your healthcare professional regarding the specific risks and the different illnesses presently in circulation.

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

Antibiotics Traveler’s Diarrhea Ciprofloxacin, Azithromycin or Suprax.

MEDICAL CARES

The health care system in Trinidad and Tobago is of low quality. The medical infrastructure is limited and the archipelago lacks adequate medical equipment and medicines. If you need medical assistance in Trinidad and Tobago, you can go to the Port of Spain General Hospital (on Trinidad island) or to the Tobago Regional Hospital. These establishments are both public. Many foreigners go to the private Saint Claire Medical Center (SCMC) in Port of Spain, which provides many medical services. In the event of serious health issues, an air evacuation to another country is required. If you need an ambulance in Trinidad and Tobago, call 990. But be aware that the response time can be long. It is sometimes better to bring the victim to the nearest hospital with a private car. A private ambulance will offer emergency services of better quality. You can obtain one at 686 624 4343 (North Trinidad), at 868 653 4343 (South Trinidad) or at 868 639 4444 (Tobago). The medicines sold in Trinidad and Tobago are imported from the United States. Pharmacies in the main cities are usually well stocked with quality pharmaceutical products. But it is always a good idea to bring your own medical supplies in sufficient quantities.

SECURITY ABROAD

Violent crime, including armed robberies, assaults and sexual assault, occur frequently on the island of Trinidad, especially in the capital, Port of Spain. Tourists have been targeted.

Read More »

CANADIAN AMBASSY

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 999
  • emergency health services (provided by National Emergency Ambulance): 811
  • Tourism Policing Unit, located at Crown Point Police Station, 1-868-639-0020
  • fire and alternate ambulance services: 990
  • Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management: 511
  • Tobago Emergency Management Agency: 211

FOOD AND WATER-BORNE DISEASES

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers’ diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.

INSECTS AND ILLNESS

In some areas in the Caribbean, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, malaria, West Nile virus and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round.  It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.

Zika virus is a risk in this country.

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.

Travel recommendations:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
  • Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
  • Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.

For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers

MALARIA

There is no risk of malaria in this country.

ANIMALS AND ILLNESS 

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

PERSON-TO-PERSON INFECTIONS

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.