Vaccinations

Before we head off I think we should get a full health check and depending on our destinations then vaccinations might be required. I have found a great website which you can check to see what vaccinations are recommended or required depending on the country you are visiting.

Here is the site: http://www.traveldoctor.com.au/TravelHealthPlanner

I also found some interesting info on Lonely Planet website:

Routine Immunizations are:

  • tetanus (often given together with diphtheria)
  • polio
  • ‘childhood’ illnesses: measles, mumps and rubella
  • influenza

Other immunizations that might be required depending on the country are:

Cholera

Note that immunisation against cholera is no longer generally recommended, except in special circumstances. However, some border officials in Latin America and Africa have been known to demand to see a certificate of immunisation before allowing travellers across the border, even though this contravenes international law.

Your best bet is to discuss this issue with your travel health clinic or doctor before you go. You may be able to get a certificate of exemption or some other form of relevant documentation to carry with you just in case.

Hepatitis A

All world travellers should be protected against this common disease. You should have the hepatitis A vaccine, which gives good protection for several years (probably forever if you have a booster). A combined hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine has recently become available, which will help cut down on the number of injections you need to put up with.

Hepatitis B

This immunisation is recommended for long term travellers to hepatitis B hot spots (e.g. Africa, China, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent). You might also need it if you’re going to be working as a medic or nurse, or if needle sharing or sexual contact is a possibility at your destination. This immunisation is given routinely to children in some countries, including Australia and the USA. A combined hepatitis A and B vaccine is available if you need to have both.

Japanese B Encephalitis

You may need this if you’re planning to spend more than a month in rural areas of the Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, or Pacific Islands.

Meningococcal Meningitis

Check with your doctor or travel health clinic for the latest information on outbreaks, but this immunisation is currently recommended for Nepal and long term travel in northern Pakistan, northern India, Mongolia and a few areas of Vietnam. Outbreaks of this disease occur periodically in some parts of Latin America, such as the São Paulo area of Brazil. In Africa, epidemics of this occur periodically, mainly in the Sahel area in the hot dry season, although the so-called ‘meningitis belt’ extends as far south as Zambia and Malawi. Be aware that there have been reports of travellers being required to be immunised at borders into Burkina Faso and possibly other countries in the region.

Rabies

With rabies, you have the choice of either having the immunisation before you go (called preexposure) or if you get bitten (postexposure).

Preexposure vaccination involves receiving a course of three injections over a month before you leave. If you then get bitten by a suspect animal, you will need to have two boosters to prevent rabies developing. If you didn’t have preexposure vaccination, you will need the full course of rabies vaccination (five injections over a month) as well as an immediate injection of rabies antibodies (expensive and often not readily available).

Consider having preexposure rabies vaccination if you’re going to be travelling for more than three months or if you’re going to be handling animals. Children are at particular risk of being bitten, so may need to be vaccinated even if you’re going for only a short time – discuss with your doctor or a travel health clinic.

Tuberculosis

This infection is widespread in Latin America, but generally poses a small risk to travellers. You may have been immunised against this as a child, but even if you weren’t, you probably won’t need this unless you’re going to be living with local people for three months or more in most parts of Asia (except Japan).

Typhoid

You’ll need this if you’re going for more than a couple of weeks to Africa, Latin America, the Pacific, and most parts of Asia (except Japan), especially the Indian subcontinent. The oral typhoid vaccine can sometimes give you a tummy upset. The new injectable vaccine causes very few effects.

Yellow Fever

There are two things you need to be aware of with this immunisation. First, proof of immunisation against yellow fever is a statutory requirement for entry into all African countries, and most Latin American countries if you are coming from a yellow-fever infected country in Africa or South America. Second, regardless of whether you need a certificate as an entry requirement, you need the vaccination to protect yourself from the disease if you are planning to visit rural areas of infected countries.

Yellow fever does not exist in all parts of Africa and Latin America, but mosquitoes capable of transmitting it do. In theory, this means it could exist if travellers from infected areas bring the disease with them. Yellow fever-free countries protect themselves from this risk by requiring you to be immunised if you are coming from an infected area. Countries differ in how they define ‘infected’ – discuss this with your doctor before you go, or check any of the information sources listed earlier in this chapter.

They also have a list of how long certain vaccines last for. I haven’t had anything for a while, so it looks like I should get a few updated perhaps.

Cholera (oral)
Diphtheria
Flu vaccine (Fluvax)
Hepatitis A (Vaqta / Havrix/Twinrix)
Hepatitis B (HBVax II/Engerix B/Twinrix)
Japanese B Encephalitis
Measles, Mumps, Rubella
Meningitis (Menomune/Mencevax)
Pneumonia (Pneumovax)
Polio
Rabies (pre exposure)
Tetanus
Typhoid (injection)
Typhoid capsules x 3
Typhoid capsules x 4
Yellow Fever
2 years
10 years
1 year
10 years > longer
Lifetime
3 years
Lifetime
2-3 years
5 years > life
Lifetime
Probably lifetime
5-10 years
3 years
3 years
5 years
10 years

One thought on “Vaccinations

  1. Pingback: Medical Matters | Astrolabe Sailing

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