Thinking of your next trip? Going out of the country? It’s wisenot to mention crucial for your safety and healthto get vaccinated before you step on that plane. Certain vaccines are necessary when visiting certain areas of the world, as other countries have diseases we simply don’t have here. If you want to spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time being sick, vaccines are the way to go. It’s easier than ever to get vaccinated.
Check With Your Doctor
Once your travel plans are arranged, you should make an appointment with your doctor to find out which vaccines you should get. You should do this at least a month to six weeks before embarking on your vacation, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He or she will review your medical history, ask questions about your destination and suggest the right vaccines according to which region of the planet you’re heading to. Going to South Africa? You’ll bee to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Typhoid, with possible vaccines for Hepatitis B, yellow fever and rabies. Taking a trip to Thailand? Get vaccines for Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Japanese Encephalitis, depending on the time of year it is and where in Thailand you are going. You may think you need a vaccine for malariaa debilitating illness characterized by severe flu-like symptoms common to third world countriesbut there is no vaccine for this, only anti-malaria medication.
Check out the CDC’s handy travel destination list to learn more about specific vaccinations for each country. When arriving in your destination country, you may be required to show proof that you’ve been vaccinated for certain diseases. Make sure you have that proof on your person when flying. As an example, if you are heading to Haiti from a country that is overrun with Yellow Fever, you need to provide proof of this vaccine even though the present threat of Yellow Fever in that Haiti is low or non-existent at this time. Ecuador is one such country where Yellow Fever is present, so the CDC recommends this vaccine for travelers over the age of nine months. This vaccine should not be given to babies younger than six months. It is advised to wait to travel to these areas until your child is old enough for the vaccines.
Be proactive about your necessary vaccinations before traveling and stay on top of the ones you need. Your doctor is an invaluable resource when learning which vaccines you need. Sometimes you can’t get certain vaccines due to pregnancy or due to particular health issues and disabilities. Pregnant women traveling to Chile, for instance, will need to consult with their doctor on whether they should get the necessary vaccines of Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Children and people with weak immune systems may have limitations on the types and amount of vaccines they can get. Find a clinic in your area to ensure you are getting top-quality care before heading on your much-needed vacation.
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