Need Of Vaccine For Travelers

Vaccinations are considered to be an essential tool in order to fight against infectious diseases. We all are aware of the importance of vaccinations in children. But, do you know that vaccinations are equally important before traveling??

Yes, vaccination is important for travelers as the health risk for travelers are higher due to differences in the sanitary conditions, food and water sources. Vaccination reduces the burden of infectious diseases. Vaccination protects the individual from direct immunization. There are pieces of evidence that suggest that vaccinations have resulted in a decrease in the prevalence of infectious disease throughout the world.

Vaccination is an effective method to prevent certain infectious disease. For travelers, it increases the possibility of avoiding some infectious disease that they might encounter while their visit abroad. We all know that planning is an important part of traveling but most of us do not include research in planning. Travelers should always research the risk of diseases in the country they are planning to visit and in order to prevent infection, vaccination according to the disease should be taken.

Here is the list of some of the vaccine-preventable travel-related diseases that you should consider before taking a visit to abroad:

1. Typhoid

Typhoid is a serious disease which is caused by the bacteria, known as Salmonella Typhi. Typhoid is characterized by a wide range of symptoms such as high fever, fatigue, weakness, headache, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. Typhoid is a contagious disease, means that it can easily be spread from one person to another. Usually, people get typhoid due to contaminated food and water.  

Researchers suggest that typhoid is not a common disease in the United States, but many people are diagnosed with it. This is because people in the United States get this disease while they travel. Therefore typhoid vaccine is recommended to all who visit the countries that have a high risk of typhoid. There are two types of typhoid vaccinations:

  • Inactivated vaccine
  • Live vaccine

The inactivated vaccine is taken as a shot and it should be taken 2 weeks before travel in order to allow the vaccine time to work. One dose of inactivated vaccination provides protection. Whereas, on the other hand, live vaccine is taken orally and four doses are required for protection. One capsule a day, on day 1, day 3, day 5 and day 7. The last dose should be taken one week before travel.  

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2. Meningococcal disease

Meningococcal is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides and it causes an infection of the lining of the brain and the spinal cord. It can be spread from one person to another through a cough, sneeze, and kissing. There are various types of Neisseria meningitidis, known as serogroups and serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y are the most common cause of meningococcal disease. There are three types of meningococcal vaccine:

  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) – It protects against serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135. It is usually given to people between 9 months to 55 years of age.
  • Meningococcal Serogroup B vaccine (MenB) – It protects against serogroup B.
  • Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4) – It protects against serogroups A, C, Y, and W. It is usually given to people who are older than 55 years of age.

3. Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a serious disease which is caused by the yellow fever virus and it is a disorder that requires hospitalization and it is associated with the symptoms that occur in other disorders such as flu, jaundice, liver failure, and kidney failure. Yellow fever vaccine is recommended to people who are living or traveling to the countries that have a risk for yellow fever transmission. It is believed that it is found in certain parts of Africa and South America. Yellow fever vaccine is a live and weakened that is taken as a single shot. In order to maintain protection against yellow fever, it needs a booster every 10 years.

4. Rabies

Rabies is a disease which is caused when humans are bitten by an infected animal. It is accompanied by symptoms that can occur weeks to months after the bite and it involves symptoms like pain, fatigue, headache, fever, and irritability. Rabies vaccine is given to people who are at high risk of developing rabies. Rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and it can be transmitted to humans through the bite, scratch or even when an individual comes in direct contact with the saliva of an infected animal.

People who travel to different part of the world and come in contact with animals, where rabies is common are recommended to take the dose of rabies vaccine. Rabies vaccination involves three doses: Dose 1, Dose 2 – 7 days after dose 1, and Dose 3 – 21 days or 28 days after Dose 1.



Tags: Travel vaccinations, Where to get vaccinations for international travel, Vaccinations required for travel to usa

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Jim Carson

Jim Carson is the writer for the mental health section of He is certified in clinical mental health counselling and has conducted cognitive behaviour therapy for war veterans struggling with PTSD. Professionally and personally, Jim is an astute observer of human behaviour that reflects well in his work.