What vaccinations do you need for travelling? Are they really necessary? I am not a doctor, but I did do a bit of basic online research about travel vaccinations, and also talked to a few doctors, and decided that for some injections it was better safe than sorry! Here I discuss what travel vaccinations I currently have, and why I decided to get them.
I currently have:
- Hep A
- Hep B
- Yellow Fever
- Tetanus (updated)
I received very mixed opinions from doctors about whether I should get any travel injections. I didn’t get vaccinated for anything for my first couple of trips to Vietnam and Thailand, nor did I take any anti-malaria tablets. Getting vaccinated for Rabies, Yellow Fever, Typhoid or Hep A didn’t even cross my mind! It wasn’t until I decided to travel indefinitely that I thought to get these injections.
Typhoid and Hep A vaccination:
My first trip to Thailand ended with poos and spews throughout the 12 hour plane journey home. About 15 minutes before getting on the plane I threw up throughout the women’s bathroom at the airport in Phuket, Thailand. I managed to get on the plane, but I pretty much lived in the bathroom at the back of the plane for the entire journey and spent the next 3 days recovering. I think it was from brushing my teeth with tap water… any who, that’s when I decided to get Typhoid and Hep A as a safety net and to help prevent a few of the more common travel-related illnesses. This combo of vaccine lasts in your system for around 3 years, and cost me $140AUD for the combined vaccine.
Yellow Fever vaccination:
The Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended for the majority of South America, and I have read that the vaccination is a requirement in some South American countries as well as other countries around the world, so I thought why not?! I was advised before getting the vaccination that you do have 1 in 500,000 chance of dying from the injection, and 1 in 250,000 chance of getting a brain disorder from it. However, it’s more likely that you will die from Yellow Fever itself though if you don’t get the vaccine! (Cost $120 AUD)
A lot of people get immunized for Hep B when they are at school. If you can’t remember if you had it, you can get a blood test to see if you are covered or not. I thought I had it, turns out I didn’t! This is a course of three injections, 2 injections at six weeks apart, and another injection in 6 months. (Cost $20 AUD per injection)
The Rabies pre-exposure vaccine course is expensive! If you get bitten/scratched/licked by a potentially rabies infected animal, it’s a bit of piece of mind having the pre-exposure vaccination. Apparently you have to get a pretty expensive and painful injection, and then 5 extra booster injections afterwards over a period of about 2 months. That would be pretty annoying if you are traveling for an extended period of time. If you have the pre-exposure vaccines, you have more time to get to a doctor for treatment. Also, after being bitten it’s 2 booster injections rather than 5. I’m pretty likely to touch animals on my adventures, so I thought it was wise to get it. Also, apparently you are covered for life with this course, but don´t quote me on that. (Cost $90-120 AUD per injection, with 3 injections in the course).
It’s up to you, but feel free to ask me more about my travel injections!