Jab Me – To Vaccinate or to not vaccinate, is it really a question?! 

  
Today I visited my local health clinic and the nurse jabbed me with a tetanus booster, Hepatitis A and a Typhoid vaccination. I also had a yellow fever injection last month, and still need to be  jabbed for Hepatitis B, rabies, and purchase malaria tablets, all in the next month before I leave. Luckily for me, I don’t mind needles, even though my arm now hurts from today’s jabs! 

I’d forgotten about travel vaccinations. Maybe because I’ve never travelled to countries where they’re needed. But with South America and South East Asia on the map, suddenly I had to account for these additional, but essential expenses. 

It’s easy to consider not taking certain injections, especially when the pounds start adding up. Luckily some of the injections I’ve had are compliments of the NHS. But most need to be paid for. I can’t put a price on health and I’d rather travel with peace of mind. So here’s the in’s and out’s of common travel vaccinations;

1. Typhoid – Spread via faecally contaminated water, food, raw fruit, shellfish and vegetables, especially in areas with poor standards of food hygiene.

2. Hepatitis A – common in developing countries, this is spread via contaminated food, water or close physical contact with a contaminated individual.

3. Tetanus – this bacteria is found in the soil worldwide, and can enter via small cuts and wounds.

4. Diphtheria – a bacterial disease spread by exhaled water droplets, especially in developing countries and mixing closely with the local population. 

5. Yellow Fever – those damn day biting mosquitos! Parts of South America and Africa can put you at risk. Make sure you carry your yellow fever vaccination certificate with you to these countries! 

6. Rabies – a virus carried in the saliva of infected mammals, specifically  dogs and cats. It’s spread by bites, scratches and licks on open wounds. 

7. Hepatitis B – spread through  contaminated blood and body fluids, especially via unprotected sex, unsterilised needles and blood transfusions. 

8. Malaria – spread by Mosquitos in tropical areas. It can take up to 8 days after being bitten for symptoms to show. Malaria tablets and avoiding bites via mosquito nets and repellant are your only options.

Healthy travelling everyone!  

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