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23Jun/11Off

Travel Immunisation Injections: What You Do and Don’t Need

When one is planning to travel to local or international destinations, it is best to make sure that one is thoroughly protected from getting infected with any contagious diseases. This is particularly important if one is planning to go to a place which is risky in the sense that there may be a lot of cases of infectious diseases.

It can be quite overwhelming for one to organize his vaccinations especially when deciding between what are required and what are optional. In addition, one also has to take in consider if the country of destination has a set of requirements for the necessary injection immunisations that one should have been given prior to traveling.

Vaccinations are very important because they enhance the body’s natural protective responses against disease. Live microorganisms which are weakened or attenuated are one of the vaccines that are given while there are other immunizations which make use of dead bacteria or virus. Introduction of these weakened or dead microorganisms will allow the body to build up and strengthen the immune system. There will also be a production of antibodies against the said microorganisms. Since this does not occur instantly, one should allow at least 8 weeks prior to the travel for him to see the doctor and have all the necessary vaccinations. This time is needed because most vaccines are given in several doses over the course of a few weeks. Planning ahead of time will make things run smoothly which means less stress and hassle for the person.

International travel immunisation injections are divided into 3 major classifications. The first category is called the routine vaccines which are usually given from when one was still a young child.  These immunizations should be current even when one is not scheduled to take any trips.

The second classification is the advisable vaccines which are recommended when a person wants to travel to high risk country or region. For instance, if you are planning to visit the rural areas of some Asian countries, it might be wise to have oneself vaccinated against the Japanese Encephalitis virus. If one is travelling to Africa and certain parts of South America, it is recommended that he has himself immunized against malaria, yellow fever, and cholera. Tetanus vaccine is also highly recommended for travellers since the tetanus spores can easily enter the blood stream through cuts and other skin openings, even just mere scratches.

The third classification is mandatory vaccines which are required by a nation for entrants to their country. The necessary vaccinations should be adequately documented, ideally on an International Certificate of Vaccination which is otherwise known as the Yellow Card.

The International Certificate of Vaccinations should be brought to the doctor when a person wants to be immunized. One should make sure that all immunizations are documented on the yellow card. It is also best to have several photocopies of the card with you and at home just in case one loses it. It will also make it easier for a person to keep track of whether or not he is already due for another dose or a booster shot.