Vaccinations When Going Abroad

By on April 1, 2016

There are many things to consider when planning a trip abroad and the question of vaccinations will undoubtedly arise. Whether you need to be vaccinated depends on the countries you plan to visit, so it makes sense to check well in advance, allowing you the required time to receive any necessary inoculations before departing. It is recommended to seek advice eight weeks before your planned trip begins.

Will I need vaccinations?

It isn’t always necessary to have vaccinations when travelling abroad. This depends on a number of factors, such as,

  • Which countries you are visiting – In some cases, the vicinity within a country is relevant.
  • The time of year you will be travelling
  • What you plan to do while abroad – Whether you will be working or on holiday.
  • Whether you will be staying in an urban or rural area.
  • Your age and general health status

There are several websites that can offer reliable travel information, click here for more details.

Existing vaccinations

Apart from any vaccinations you may need for your trip, you should also make sure that you have booster jabs existing vaccinations, such as polio and tetanus, should they be required.

Malaria vaccinations

Malaria is prevalent in many tropical regions and in some countries, you are only at risk in certain areas. There is a wide range of anti-malarial drugs available, so you should consult a doctor who will be able to advise you on whether anti malaria medication is necessary,and what type you should have.

Vaccinations When Going Abroad

Rabies vaccinations

Rabies is still a problem in some countries and this deadly disease can affect anyone, so you must take precautions if you plan to visit a country where rabies is known to exist. This deadly virus is transmitted by a bite from an infected animal such as a dog or a bat. Rabies vaccinations can be safely used with all age groups, and there may be side effects. The main side effects are,

  • A brief period of redness and pain around the injection location
  • Fever
  • Headaches and nausea

Your doctor will advise you on whether you require a rabies vaccine, depending on your destination country.

Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a viral infection spread by certain types of mosquitoes. It is most common in Africa and South America, so if you plan to visit either of these continents, you may require a vaccination.

Typhoid vaccinations

Vaccinations against typhoid fever are recommended if you are travelling to a region with low sanitation or hygiene standards. Regions known to be high risk include,

  • The Indian subcontinent
  • Africa
  • South and South East Asia
  • The Middle East
  • South America

There is a higher risk of contracting Typhoid if you plan on living with local people within these regions.

Be safe and plan ahead of time

As with all medication, vaccines need time to work on your immune system. For this reason, you must consult a doctor at least two months before your intended travel date. Once your doctor is aware of the regions you plan to visit, he or she will be able to recommend the right vaccinations, with sufficient time to administer them.

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