Few immunisations are compulsory for travellers to countries abroad however many immunisations are recommended for travel outside Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Booster doses of immunisations given in childhood may be required on medical advice; people who travel regularly must maintain their immunisations.
Common examples of diseases travellers may need to be protected from are; Cholera, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Rabies and Malaria.Vaccinations for travellers are given at any age and different countries have specific health risks so certain vaccinations are required. For example most Asian and African countries have a high risk to becoming infected by Cholera as it comes from contaminated food or water, often from sewage and these countries have low hygiene standards. Most countries outside Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand have high risks of becoming infected by the bacterial disease Typhoid Fever; this is spread by contaminated food and water, flies and typhoid carriers, it is also common because these countries may have low hygiene standards. UK, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand are the only countries that are Rabies free however a recent spread in Northern Europe has increased the risk of Rabies entering Britain.Depending on the disease it is wise to get vaccinations for diseases you could come into contact with when going to certain countries for example, you may be at high risk of coming into contact with malaria in over one hundred countries with tropical climates, you do not get vaccinated to protect against malaria instead you are given a series of tablets to take, you should start taking these tablets one week before you leave the country, the whole time you are in the country in which you can come into contact with the disease and for four weeks after leaving the infected area.Depending on which vaccinations you have depend on how long you stay immune to the disease.
Rabies is an acute viral infection spread by an infected animal; it can lead to the infection of the brain and nervous system, which is almost invariably fatal. To vaccinate against rabies you would have a course of three vaccinations the second one-week after the first and the third three weeks after the first this would last for approximately three to five years.Hepatitis A is a viral infection that results in the inflammation of the liver, hepatitis A is highly contagious the symptoms include, nausea vomiting, fever and chills, jaundice, pain in the abdomen including the liver and severe tiredness. To protect against hepatitis A you can receive two injections. If you only receive one of the vaccinations it will protect you for one year but if you receive the second six months after the first it will protect you for ten years, this vaccination is active immunity.”The risks of vaccination are far less than the dangers of the disease itself,” (GCE AS level double award Health and Social care text book, Neil Moonie) The risks of the vaccination are; mild fever and irritability for approximately one day, 1 in 300,000 babies may develop permanent brain damage but risk is small.
(Statistic from, ‘Immunisation against infectious disease, ‘The green book’ chapters on Diphtheria, Hib, pertussis and Tetanus). During the 1970’s many chose not to have their children immunised against Pertussis because it was believed that the vaccination could cause the child to develop asthma, this however was completely untrue and the hysteria in which it caused was unnecessary.Hepatitis A: Like most injections the risks of the hepatitis A vaccination are, some may experience tenderness and redness at the site of the injection.
“Hepatitis A cannot be contacted directly form the vaccine.” (GlaxoSmithKline Travel Health, Hepatitis A pamphlet.) Tetanus (Clostridium tetani): Similarly to the hepatitis A vaccination, the tetanus vaccination has risks. These risks are; some may experience tenderness and redness at the site of injection. “Tetanus cannot be contacted directly form the vaccine.
” (GlaxoSmithKline Travel Health, Tetanus pamphlet.)Typhoid: The vaccination for typhoid does not offer 100% protection. (Immunisation against infectious disease, ‘The green book’ chapters on Diphtheria, Hib, pertussis and tetanus) Measles: The risk of not being immunised to fight against measles would be becoming infected with the disease. If you are infected with this disease you may develop certain symptoms/ side effects such as; rash and fever, one in twenty infected individuals develop ear infection. However if you receive the vaccination to fight against measles you may develop very rare side effects such as rash or fever, ear infection or fits.
Also one doctor claimed that getting the vaccination for measles can give you autism however this has been completely discredited as the MMR vaccination is the most extensively tested vaccination and there is no evidence to support links with autism despite extensive research.Mumps: The vaccination for mumps is a combined vaccine with measles and rubella (MMR). There has been speculation that the MMR vaccination causes autism, this was because in 1998 one doctor published a study claiming that it lead to a small group of children to develop autism after the first symptoms developed within the first two weeks after the vaccination was administered. The MMR vaccination can also have the side effects (like all medicines) such as a high temperature, rash or being irritable. Much more rare side effects include fits, sore joints and bleeding or bruising.Rubella: As the vaccination for rubella is a combined vaccination with measles and mumps (MMR) the risks form the vaccination are the same, high temperature, rash or being irritable. Also more rare side effects include fits, sore joints and bleeding or bruising. Malaria: To prevent malaria you are administered with tablets.
Following the guidelines faithfully for these tablets may not guarantee complete protection. “If you get a fever between one week after first exposure and up to two years after your return, you should seek medical attention and tell the doctor that you have been in a malarious area.” (www.
fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk)Rabies: The risks of this vaccination are; tenderness and redness at the site of injection and occasionally you may feel aches and headaches. There are other risks in different contexts from vaccination: Travel plans: When thinking about where you will take your holiday you should think about the diseases in which you could come into contact with for example Typhoid is common most countries outside Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Also the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand are the only countries free from Rabies.Time factors: This means not leaving enough time to get the vaccination before coming into contact with the disease for example, if you were to be going to a country with a high risk of contact with Hepatitis A you should leave enough time to get the vaccination and for your body to make the antibodies to fight the disease.