The world is full of places worth exploring. Whether you seek adventure, love the sea, or taking selfies, there are places that will surely satisfy your travel specifications. But all that can go for naught if you get exposed to an illness and get sick. But you can change all that by protecting yourself and having yourself vaccinated before your departure.
One disadvantage of visiting another country is that you don’t know what to expect. You can get sick because of food poisoning or go down because you drank unpurified water. Vaccines provide you with the necessary protection from getting infected. By getting shots, you ensure your safety and protection. But before having yourself vaccinated, here are some facts you need to know about travel immunization.
Routine vaccines are the usual immunizations recommended to children and adults. These are vaccines for diseases that break out every now and then. These are vaccines that should be regularly updated such as tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and measles.
These are vaccines that can protect you if you are going to an area where there is an intermediate or high risk for contracting an illness. Recommended vaccines prevent the spread of diseases from one country to another.
These are vaccines that you need to have when traveling to certain parts of a country. For example, in parts of Africa and South America, yellow fever vaccine may be required for travel. Another example is in Saudi Arabia where you may be required to get meningococcal vaccine when traveling during the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
These vaccines may be required to prevent travel-related diseases
Which Travel Vaccines Will I Need?
Below is a list of vaccine-preventable travel-related diseases that are not covered by routine adult vaccinations:
1-Hepatitis A & B
2-Typhoid and paratyphoid fever
Whether you need these vaccines depends on several variables. There is no one size fits all. A business executive staying in a Bangkok 5-star hotel, for example, will have different risk profiles from a college student who will go hiking in Thailand. The required vaccines of the former will be different from that of the latter. It is therefore recommended that you have a travel health specialist who will recommend vaccines based on the following:
Your current health
Are you taking medications for conditions like diabetes? This is an important piece of information for the travel health specialist because certain drug interactions may have an impact on the effectiveness of vaccines.
The travel health specialist will also need to know your immunization history so doctors will know what routine vaccines you may need to have updated.
The risk of certain diseases will vary from one city or town to another within a country. The travel specialist will also need to know about your itinerary as much as possible. Are you going on a guided tour or traveling solo? During your travel, you need to consider the following:
Where you will be traveling, whether it will be in an urban or rural area?
How long will be your visit?
Time of the year?
Type of accommodation
Mode of travel
However, getting vaccinated is not enough. It is important for you to still practice basic hygiene. Wash your hands before eating, and not placing your fingers in your face or mouth. We can pick up anything on our fingers that can cause diarrheal or any food-borne illness.
It is important for you to educate yourself as much as possible and follow any precautions carefully. You can check out the health section of the website of the country you are visiting. The point of you traveling is to be happy and have fun not to get sick.