International Travel: Travel Vaccination Advice

If you are planning to travel internationally, it is important to decide if you need any vaccines.

Travel vaccines can be grouped as those that are required, routine, and recommended.

Routine Vaccinations

Routine vaccines are usually given at all stages of life according to the Immunization Schedule.

Routine vaccines include:

  • Varicella (chickenpox),
  • Poliomyelitis,
  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib),
  • Diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DTP),
  • Hepatitis B (HBV),
  • Measles/mumps/rubella (MMR).

No matter what your travel plans are, it is important to be up-to-date on routine immunizations.

Required Vaccinations

Examples of Required vaccinations include yellow fever vaccine. Yellow fever occurs in tropical regions of Africa and in parts of South America.

Meningococcal Meningitis vaccine is required if you are going to Saudi Arabia.

According to WHO regulations, Cholera vaccine is no longer required for international travel. However, it is still required as a condition of entry into some countries.

Recommended Vaccinations

Recommended Vaccinations are meant to protect travelers from illnesses while out of the country.

Recommended Vaccinations are made on voluntary basis, as they are not required by governmental regulations of the country you are traveling to. However, in addition to personal health issues, recommended vaccinations help to prevent infectious diseases spreading across international borders.

For example, Japanese Encephalitis Virus Vaccine is highly recommended for people traveling to endemic or epidemic areas in Asia. In is important to note that seasonality of the illness varies by country. Moreover, Japanese Encephalitis is more common for rural areas and does not usually occur in urban areas.

So, if you are planning to travel abroad, do not hesitate to visit your local travel vaccination centre and make decision according to your specific needs.


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