Travel Vaccinations

Travel Vaccinations

There are often wonderful sights to visit, and things to discover, whether you’re going on vacation, or on a honeymoon perhaps, or maybe instead you’re on yet another business trip. It doesn’t matter where or why you’re travelling overseas, there are health risks and concerns that all travellers should be wary of and in order to best minimise these risks, you should consult with a doctor, in advance, on whether there are any immunizations that you might need before taking off.

It doesn’t even matter if you’re only hopping over the border to a neighbouring country for a few days, there are always going to be risks and it’s best to be ready for them. The other advantage of heading to the doctor’s office before a trip, even if it’s only for the formality of it, is that it’s a great time for you to review your previous immunisation history and make sure you’re up to date.

When should I schedule an appointment?

The best time to schedule a visit to your doctor is roughly four to six weeks prior to your trip, especially if it’s an international one. This is a timeframe that is recommended by both doctors themselves and many governmental health agencies around the world; this is because immunisation shots aren’t like magic pills that start protecting you as soon as you pop one into your mouth, painless, quick and easy, as much as many of us wish it could be like. Instead, it takes time for our body to reproduce the vaccination throughout our body in order to build up the immunity. Not only that, but some vaccines are required to be given in multiple shots over a short time span.

Even if you’re suddenly forced into a trip on short notice, it’s always worth taking time out to visit a doctor and make sure you’re properly immunised, and to see if there are any additional protective and preventive medications that you can take to offset the short time frame that the vaccine has to come into effect.

Are there certain vaccinations that I really need?

There is only one vaccine, known as the ‘Yellow Fever’ vaccine, that is actually required by travellers who are looking to visit certain countries that lie within the sub-Saharan African and tropical South American regions. This requirement is set by the International Health Regulations and is something that should not be brushed off by any traveller, no matter who ‘adventurous’ you may think you are.

This is true not just for the yellow fever vaccine though, while health organisations only classify that specific one as required, all other vaccines are highly recommended as well. There are in fact three types of vaccines available: the required, as mentioned above, the routine and the recommended.

The routine vaccinations are ones that are usually administered while you’re growing up, but that doesn’t mean everyone has them, so be sure to check with your doctor to see if you’re missing any or if any are not up-to-date. A few of these vaccines help protect against include: tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, and more.

The recommended vaccinations are ones that are given to travellers to protect them from any illnesses that routinely occur in other regions of the world. These vaccinations are determined by doctors on an individual basis as they need to factor in multiple elements, such as the traveller’s choice of destination, their age, and their history of immunisations. A few of the vaccines that help protect against more serious diseases include: Hepatitis A, Rabies, and Typhoid fever.

If you're travelling soom, make sure you get all your appropriate and necessary vaccinations.

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