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Travel Vaccinations: Which Ones Do You Need?

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Going on holiday this summer? I’m guessing you’ve crammed your bags full of sun cream, pest spray and antihistamines to lather up your child with, but have you considered the risk other diseases pose to you and your family when your travel to other countries. Some very harmful infections can be picked up abroad and without the right travel vaccinations it won’t just ruin your holiday, it could ruin your life. Worried? Don’t be, it’s easy to protect your family and ensure that a good time is had by all.

So what are we on the lookout for?

Well if you’re heading to central or south America, Africa, India or South East Asia then you may want to get yourself the V1 injection or the less effective Ty21a tablet before you go. Typhoid is picked up by people who ingest water which has been contaminated by the faeces of Typhoid sufferers. The bacteria remain present in the water and is delivered directly to the stomach in drinking water or on anything that had been wash by water such as fresh fruit or salad, nice right! The injection will last three years before a booster is needed with the tablet only lasting a year, in both cases the vaccine should be taken about a month before travel, however, as a small strain of the bacteria is present in the vaccine it should be avoid by those with sensitive immune systems and never by infants under the age of two.

Travel vaccinations

The other big baddy out there is Cholera, which also has a travel vaccination available but if you are using your noodle when eating and drinking you should be able to avoid contact with the disease, should you be particularly paranoid though then see your GP who will administer a series of two doses of a liquid to be taken orally, unless you are a child between two and six in which case you will have three doses. Again, children under two cannot take this vaccine so if you are travelling to a particular risky place then leave your youngest at home with the grandparents.

You may also be concerned about Hepatitis, which you don’t need to be unless you are living in a hostel, which is uncommon for families with children or if you know that the level of sanitation is going to be poor, but once again these are not usually the location of choice for families. The only time you may want to consider getting the vaccine is if you will be spending time with wild Primates, for example in Gibraltar, but even then it’s only if you are hugging them or one of them bites you and this is pretty uncommon but again of you are of the more paranoid persuasion then have a chin wag with your GP who will advise the best course of action. Some medical professionals state that it may be prudent to have Hepatitis vaccination if travelling to Ibiza or Greece, however once again following strict dietary rules regarding water should keep you in the safe zone.

Travel vaccinations also needed if…

Other diseases that require vaccinations are Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Rabies and Yellow Fever, but only if you’re spending a large amount of time in rural areas of The Caribbean, The Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Hong Kong, Thailand or Turkey . However I stress only if you are spending a large amount of time in rural areas, so if you are staying with friends who own a farm then go and see your doctor before you go. In the case of Yellow Fever some countries require you to have a certificate of travel vaccination of you are entering from a country that is at risk.

So there you go – now if you’re too scared to leave the house your risk of infection are practically zero, and don’t worry because these are only figures where cases have been reported coupled with the statistical likelihood the disease is present. In any case, if you are booking a holiday through means other than a travel agency then call and book a telephone consultation with your GP who can advise whether you need to have any vaccinations, especially if you have high risk people in your party, such as the very young, the very old or those with weak immune systems.

 

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About Steven Petter

About Steven Petter

Steve has three children, Connor, Harmony-Skye and Fletcher. He is a Martial Arts enthusiast as well as an avid reader of books about Philosophy, he began writing short stories and also writes music reviews.

Website: Steven Petter

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