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Holiday Vaccinations

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Holidays are about rest and not about hard work. And the planning shouldn’t be hard work either. However, there are a couple of things to think about before you go.

Now depending on where you are in the world and where you want to go will determine how much or how little planning needs to go into your holiday. If you’re living somewhere in Australian and are going to travel to another Australian city, you don’t need to think too much about vaccinations. It’s pretty straight forward as it’s all one country. If you’re travelling from Australia to places like the United States, Europe or other first world countries, again, there’s not much to think about it terms of vaccinations. Some people, depending on the time of year and their circumstances may be thinking about having aflu shot, but there’s not anything rare or exotic in these countries.

If you’re going further off the beaten track, into parts of Asia, Africa or South America, then you may need vaccinations.  Now usually in videos like these, we can’t necessarily tell you which vaccinations you need for where you’re going because that’s not only variable but it can change from time to time. At different times there can be outbreaks of certain diseases and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website and travel vaccination websites will have that information.

The most common vaccines for people travelling into Third World countries are hepatitis A and typhoid. For a hepatitis A vaccine, there is a single shot which you can get and this can last for up to about 3 years. If you have a booster after 12 months, that will generally give lifelong protection.  A typhoid vaccine will last up to 3 years or so.

Other vaccines that people might need, depending on where they’re going can include: Yellow fever, cholera (which is not used as much these days) and in very rare incidences, rabies vaccinations. The other thing to consider is whether you are currently up to date with your regular shots, in particular tetanus. The other consideration when travelling to certain countries may be anti-malarial tablets.

Depending on where you’re going, perhaps Bali, and you’re staying at resorts and staying very much on the tourist traps then you generally don’t need very much by way of routine vaccinations. Have a chat with your GP a few weeks before you go. And that’s one of the key things. If you’re going trekking in the Himalayas or into deepest, darkest Africa or even the highlands in Peru, then you would probably be planning some months out. Have a chat with your doctor about what sort of vaccinations you may require. As I said before, that will depend a little bit but try and sort it out a few months before. If you leave it 3 days before you go, it may be a little too late.

Certain countries, particularly in Africa may require certificates of vaccinations for diseases such as yellow fever, depending on where you have been previously, so again be aware of that. For most family holidays, this won’t be an issue.

So the key message really is plan a little in advance. You’re not going to be like a pin cushion and it is unlikely that for most travel, people will need a lot, if any vaccinations. For some places you may well do, but have a chat with your doctor at least a couple of months before you’re planning on going.

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Dates

Posted On: 9 May, 2012
Modified On: 18 January, 2013

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