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Travel Vaccine

Are There Some Travel Vaccines You Can Skip?

While many of us find the prospect of getting vaccinated bothersome, and in some instances, costly, there are some countries that absolutely require you to get the necessary shots before you’re even allowed to enter them, and several others in which a few recommended vaccines could be the difference between an incredible holiday, and a trip spent fighting for your life in hospital.


Ultimately, if the WHO and other respected organizations and governments are recommending that you get vaccinated before travelling to your chosen destination, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense not to.


Always get essential vaccinations

Wherever you plan to travel to in the world, you should always ensure that you’re up-to-date with routine vaccinations such as tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and annual flu shots. Don’t feel as if these are necessary? You might want to think again. Anti-vaccine movements across Europe have discouraged many parents from having their children inoculated against measles, causing the viral disease to spread uncontrolled. While this highly contagious disease rarely kills, it can certainly make your trip unpleasant, and memorable for all the wrong reasons.


Check whether your travel destination poses health risks

Before even contemplating visiting a particular country, you should visit a user-friendly online source of information, such as the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC. This will have a country-by-country index explaining in detail the recommended vaccinations for each destination.


South Africa, for example, typically requires typhoid, rabies and hepatitis A shots, while for travel to Kenya, a yellow fever vaccine might be recommended. You may even find that some less-developed countries in sub-Saharan Africa will not allow entry to any visitors who cannot provide proof of a yellow fever inoculation. While malaria has no vaccine, it is widespread in many areas of Africa and other countries of the world, and visitors to such regions may want to consider asking a medical practitioner for an antimalarial prescription before travel.


For travel to developing regions, speak to an advisor in a travel clinic

The cost of travel vaccinations is always a consideration, and while those that are mandatory for entry to a country, or strongly recommended should be paid for without hesitation, there are some recommended vaccines for developed countries that you may contemplate skipping to keep costs down.


Try visiting a travel clinic at least 4 weeks before you plan to travel to a developed region, and talking to the experts there about what vaccines or prescriptions you should ensure that you have, and which ones may be foregone depending on the activities you plan to do while travelling. For example, if you’re visiting a country that has incidences of malaria, but only in certain regions that you don’t plan to visit (such as mountainous areas popular with hikers), you may be able to skip an antimalarial prescription.


There may also be some countries that require several vaccines, and these may cost in excess of £250. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you might want to reconsider your chosen destination and travel to a country with less requirements, or forego those nights in a luxury hotel!


The upshot is that recommended vaccinations for certain destinations should always be gotten before you travel, and if you don’t get them, you risk ruining what should have been a memorable trip.

Always seek advice from a certified medical professional before travelling overseas, and be prepared to accept the consequences should you choose to forego any recommended vaccines.

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