YOU ASK:

I’m planning to go around South East Asia. Are there any vaccination requirements for my travel?

WE ANSWER:

Yes, there may be, depending on which country you are planning to visit. Even if a disease has been virtually wiped out in developed countries, this does not mean that that disease has been totally eradicated in other less developed countries.

Vaccinations are often part of the requirements for travel since these protect you from the illnesses that you can contract during your visit to a particular trip.

Each country poses a specific danger with regards to a particular disease, so you should know what vaccinations are recommended for a particular country. There are government agencies that provide you with key information on this so it will do you good to read up about the country or countries you plan to visit.

When to Get Vaccinated

It is recommended that you fulfill the travel vaccination requirements a month before your trip. Once they are injected or introduced to your body, some vaccines need time before they become effective.

However, if you are going on short notice (that is, if you have less than a month prior to your departure), you should still go to your doctor and ask for shots he will recommend.

Types of Vaccines

The vaccines you need will be determined not just by the country you go to, but also the timing of your trip (what season would it be in that part of the country), as well as your current health condition and age. You should also look into the immunizations you already got.

Also, remember that if you plan to stay only in highly urbanized areas for a few days, the risk is not the same as when you will be traveling in the rural areas of that same country.

There are vaccines for

  • malaria,
  • yellow fever,
  • typhoid fever,
  • diphtheria,
  • polio,
  • meningococcal meningitis,
  • as well as your standard flu shots.

Special Precautions for Women

It is, important, however, if you are a female to first know whether you are pregnant or not. If there is a possibility that you are pregnant, it is recommended that you consult your doctor about vaccinations and if these can be administered to you. A vaccination may adversely affect your baby.

Similarly, if you are breastfeeding, you should not also take travel vaccines without asking your doctor. There are also particular travel vaccination requirements if you plan to travel with babies or children.

Having said that, you should also be sensible in making sure that you are safe and healthy. Vaccines also have their own failure rates, so don't throw caution to the winds and follow the precautions to prevent contracting an illness.

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