Being skeptical of vaccinations seems to be a trend lately, so it’s no surprise that travel vaccinations are often missed too. To make the answer simple, travel vaccinations are essential! A small shot could mean the difference between having a carefree and fun travel experience or ending up in a hospital in a foreign country. The three major types of travel vaccinations include:
Vaccinating for traveler’s diarrhea is a good idea no matter where you plan to travel. This illness occurs when you come into contact with e. Coli, typically through local drinking water. The vaccination should be used in conjunction with a smart traveling decision such as only eating at notable restaurants and avoiding tap water. This condition can lead to up to 20 trips to the bathroom in one day, severe dehydration, cramping, sweating, and more.
Typhoid fever is similar to traveler’s diarrhea, but it can only be found in areas of southeast Asia. Typhoid fever is caused by food or drinks that have been contaminated with fecal matter. Getting the vaccination for this condition reduces your risk of the disease by more than 50%. If you decide to skip the vaccine and end up contracting the disease, you’re looking at a 75% chance you’ll need to be hospitalized. Not only will your trip be cut short, but you’ll be stuck in a hospital far away from your family and friends.
CDC.gov is a great resource to learn more about other region-specific vaccinations. Regional vaccinations should be given 4-6 weeks prior to your travels to see the best results. Many of these regional vaccinations can be found through your primary care provider or local urgent care center. Some different vaccinations may require a scheduled trip to a CDC vaccination site.
If you’re debating on rather or not to vaccinate, think about the health of those that you care about. You’re not only going to put yourself at risk for illness but all of them as well. If you carry a foreign disease back into America where no one is vaccinated for it, it’s sure to spread at a rapid rate. You may even be denied reentry into the country unless you’re able to prove that you were vaccinated! If you have any questions or concerns about your travel vaccinations, visit the CDC website for answers or talk to your doctor.