If you are heading somewhere exotic and developing you will of course need to head down to a clinic and get a variety of vaccines before disappearing in another country. The question remain, what vaccinations do I need when I travel?
Here in this article I will cover the best I can the topic of immunisations and vaccines. Read on to find out general guidelines about vaccination.
The vast majority of the critical vaccines will be boosters of shots you presumably had as a kid. There are a few others, however it is worth reconsidering being sold on having the “entire bundle” of immunisations. Everything relies on upon where you are going and how you feel about the danger.
Numerous backpackers goes to a travel clinic center and says they’re going to some place like Peru or Thailand, the medical attendant search for “Thailand” on the computer and before they know it they have a vaccines package for 200$, an exceptionally excruciating arm, 10′s of extremely costly pills and coverage for some exceptionally rare maladies of which the danger of getting them are little compared with different dangers.
All things considered, it is vital to caution against the attitude of “I will take the risk and don’t get that shot” (often in regards to Malaria). I prefer being cautious and get the shots I need just in case, but I won’t go overboard with all kinds of vaccines I don’t really need like rabies shot.
Useful information: the following information is taken from various sources, some medical, some not. I am not a doctor and therefore the information in this section should be taken with that consideration in mind. However, this is a good place to start and will be of good use when you decide in which countries you want to travel.
So what shots do I need? You absolutely need those vaccines when traveling to third-world and developing countries. No matter which country. You will need: Typhoid (3 years – also available as a pill), Meningitis (A+C), Diphtheria (10 years), Hepatitis A (two doses, 10 years – or immunoglobulin that will last for 3-6 months)), Polio (10 years), Tetanus (10 years) and if you are heading to parts of South America or Africa then Yellow fever (10 years). Let me warn you about something, you are going to feel a little groggy after some of these vaccines.
Within the UK and other EU countries with a national/socialised health service, for the vaccines listed above, you will probably be charged for Yellow Fever and Hepatitis A only, at a cost of about €90, with Hep A/Typhoid and Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio being usually free of charges. This will of course vary from country to country. Walk in clinics are good for those in a hurry, but will charge a lot more.
Within the USA and other countries without a government funded health service the cost of your shots will be quite expensive in some cases and are rarely covered on medical insurance (I think Tetanus is included). The following costs are typical for the United States: Typhoid – $75, Polio Booster – $50, Hep A & B – $200 (per shot 2/3 needed), Yellow Fever – $100, Meno Meningitis -$130 & Rabies – $200 (per shot, 3 needed). In the USA you usually have to go to special travel doctors to get the shots, as most doctors and clinics don’t have them.
Within Canada with a national/socialised health service, we have travel clinics that offer all the shots. Here is a breakdown of the average price of each vaccine: Dukoral 80$ (2 doses needed), Twinrix for Hep A & B 70$ (3 doses), Japanese Encephalitis 215$ (2 doses), Polio no charges, Rabies 200$ (3 doses), Tetanus/Diphtheria no charges, Typhoid 44$, Yellow Fever 135$.
Rabies, Hepatitis B and Japanese B Encephalitis are in many opinions not 100% necessary considering the cost and number of injections and rarity of the diseases. The rabies vaccine for example may not give full immunisation and you would always need boosters after a possible exposure of an animal bite, so the shot extends the time you have to get the boosters and makes the treatments of an animal bite much easier. Even if it is technically not essential, there is an argument for not totally discard it if you feel you might be in danger or expose to rabies during a travel. Hep B is perhaps only suggested if you plan to be sexually active, as it is an STI usually transmitted during sexy time. Just to warn you, Hep B can be contracted in other situations such as passed on during medical or dental treatment with inadequately sterilisation.
I know it would be nice to be immunized against “everything”, some shots provide protection from infections that have a diminishing risk depending on which country you are going and what you will be doing. Not to mention that in many cases, vaccines can be quite costly. However you would be irresponsible to only take my word for advice by reading this alone and you should seek professional advice to make sure you make 100% informed choices, although medical professionals will almost always tell you to get the total protection in the same way they would always advise alcohol in moderation and wearing sun block cream.
That’s it! In this article “What vaccinations do I need when I travel” I gave you my tips on travel vaccination and I hoped it will help you in your trip planning.
I will cover Malaria in a future article, I think Malaria deserve his own spotlight. Stay tune to find out all about this infection.