Last post, I promised that I would list some of the recommended immunizations for travelers. While most of these vaccinations are not required, it’s still best to do you’re research and be prepared. For required vaccinations, it is recommended that the traveler carries the certificate along with his or her passport when traveling to and from countries at risk.
Yellow Fever – This is a serious viral illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito endemic to parts of tropical Africa and South America. People traveling to and from these areas, as well as certain parts of Asia, are required to have a certificate of vaccination.
Typhoid Fever & Hepatitis A – though not mandatory, this is recommended if you’re staying in places associated with poor hygiene and sanitation. Typhoid and Hepatitis A are transmitted by infected food and drink, personal contact and by the fecal oral route.
DTaP – otherwise known as the combined Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio vaccine. It’s generally now recommended where tetanus immunisation is indicated and a booster dose required. Although Polio has virtually been eliminated in many regions, it’s still best to be protected if you’re traveling outside Northern and Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Meningitis ACWY – If you’re planning a pilgrimage to Mecca during the Hajj, this vaccine is required by Saudi Arabia. It’s also recommended for travelers to areas where the disease is endemic such as most of Sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is transmitted through respiratory droplets and personal contact.
Rabies – Pre-exposure vaccines are recommended for campers or travelers who are likely to be exposed to potentially rabid animals, especially those traveling to remote areas beyond the reach of immediate medical help. Travelers who have been scratched or bitten, however, are still advised to seek competent medical advice, even if they have had the pre-exposure vaccines.
Japanese B encephalitis – Transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, this is a rare but serious disease that occurs in most of the Far East and South East Asia. Vaccination is recommended for stays of longer than one month in rural areas during and just after the rainy season.
Tick Borne Encephalitis – This is recommended for campers or travelers to forest, grassland areas and mountainous regions of certain European countries. The risk is highest during the spring and summer months.