The Importance of Travel Vaccinations?
What are Vaccines?
A vaccine is made up of small amounts of dead or inactive viruses or bacteria that can cause diseases. They will not give you the disease because they are inactive, but they will prepare your body to produce antibodies that will fight off the disease quickly and more effectively. It is a good idea to check around for prices of vaccinations between private clinics and GPs, as very often GP’s can be cheaper in price. Learn more about vaccines!
Here I am going to discuss why getting your travel vaccinations is so important:
- Risk of Disease
Travel vaccinations are essential in preventing you from contracting exotic diseases. They could literally save your life. Before making plans to go traveling, consider where you are going as certain diseases will vary from one region to another. Some places have a higher risk of certain diseases and some are lower risk areas. Travellers should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, and diarrhea as these would be the most common illnesses that can affect travelers in a foreign country. Different countries are prone to many different diseases, for instance, Hepatitis A which can cause serious liver problems and is caught by contaminated Food and drink. This is common in countries such as Asia, Africa, and South America. Yellow Fever is another serious disease which is caught and spread by the bite of mosquitoes. This is prevalent throughout Tropical Africa and South America. Remember, Prevention is better than cure!
- Save money on healthcare
If you are opting to travel abroad without getting the recommended travel vaccinations, then you may contract a disease. You will then have to spend a small fortune on being hospitalised and receiving medical care. While the travel vaccinations do cost money, they are only a small price to pay for the cost of the emergency healthcare service. If you are on a tight budget, I would strongly suggest you put the travel vaccination costs in as part of your trip. Many GP administer vaccines at cheaper prices and your local public health department may also have reduced rates. It is important to price around different clinics, to save you money and time. You should also inquire if the clinic’s charge for subsequent visits and if they have all the vaccines at one time. You won’t need to return to the clinic again, especially if you are in a rush before your departure. The next thing you need to find out is if travel vaccinations are covered by travel insurance?
- Essential if you have a chronic health condition
Anyone who would be considering traveling abroad and has chronic health conditions such as HIV, Lung disease, Diabetes, and Heart disease should be aware they are more than likely to develop complications from certain diseases. Here I am going to discuss the health topics listed above and why it is important to get vaccinated with certain health conditions before you travel.
Travelling abroad to different countries can be risky for anyone, but if you have the chronic illness HIV your concerns have become greater. A compromised immune system will increase your chances of contracting infections and diseases. For a person living with HIV, they should consult their doctor at least 6 weeks prior to traveling. Vaccines generally work best when a person’s CD4 count is above 200 cells, but anyone with CD4 counts lower than 200 cells should not get live vaccines. Some of the following vaccines are recommended for people with HIV: Hepatitis B, Influenza, Pneumococcal, Diphtheria, and many more. Further vaccines may be recommended based on the person’s age and risks.
- Lung Disease
If you have lung disease and are thinking of traveling abroad, you should see your doctor to discuss the best vaccinations for you. People with COPD or asthma are at a much higher risk of serious problems from many diseases. Anyone with COPD would more than likely contract the flu. Certain diseases can also cause swelling of your airways and lungs, making it difficult for you to breath. The combination of both could lead to pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. Vaccines are the easiest option to protect your health. The recommended vaccines would be Influenza, TDAP, Pneumococcal, and Zoster vaccine.
People with diabetes both type 1 and type 2 are at a higher risk for serious health problems. Even if you manage your diabetes properly, it can still be hard for your immune system to fight off infections, which would lead to more serious health complications. Many illnesses like Influenza can cause your blood glucose levels to rise to dangerously high levels, you are also at a much higher risk of contracting Hepatitis B, and many other health problems. The vaccines that would be important for you would be, Influenza, TDAP, Pneumococcal, Hep B, and Zoster vaccine.
- Heart Disease
People with heart disease are a higher risk for serious problems from certain diseases when traveling abroad. Getting vaccinated is very important for keeping your body healthy. Having heart disease will make it more difficult to fight off certain diseases like the flu. The following vaccines are recommended for you, Influenza, Pneumococcal, Zoster vaccine, and TDAP.