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Getting Dukoral (Traveller’s Diarrhea Vaccine) Covered by Insurance in Canada

Nothing in this post is medical or legal advice, and you should always speak to a licensed professional for your medical and legal needs. 

Unfortunately, many places in the world do not have the cleanest drinking water or sanitary food preparation standards, and traveller’s diarrhea can easily ruin your trip. Beyond the mantra of “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it,” you can use Dukoral to reduce your risk of traveller’s diarrhea.

Dukoral is an oral traveller’s diarrhea vaccine, and helps protect against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (the most common source of traveller’s diarrhea) and cholera. It does not provide 100% protection, but for example, provides a 52% protection against cholera in the first year.

To me immunized, you will need the two-dose Dukoral (it comes in both one-dose and two-dose versions). Instructions on how to take it come with the vaccine, and can be seen online. Leave a minimum of 2 weeks before you leave for your trip to start the vaccine process.

Recently, Dukoral was made an over the counter (OTC) vaccine, meaning you do not need a prescription for it, unless you live in Quebec. Right now, it runs for $101.99 at my local Shopper’s Drug Mart for the two-dose vaccine.

Although it is an OTC vaccine, many insurers will continue to cover Dukoral. For example, the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) covers this vaccine, and so do many other insurers. Call your insurance company and ask if they provide coverage for Dukoral, under Drug Identification Number (DIN) 02247208.

Typically, in order to get coverage for Dukoral, you will have to have a prescription for it, even though it’s an OTC vaccine. Ask your clinician if they would write you a prescription for Dukoral. Tell them it’s so your insurance will cover it. With that prescription and confirmation of coverage from your insurer, you should get Dukoral covered.

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