Whether it’s a lazy island escape or a relaxing bush experience, getting the necessary vaccinations is imperative to ensure that you and your family stay healthy and safe. Some countries require proof of vaccination, especially when the risk of infection is high.

What are vaccinations?

Vaccinations, also known as immunisations, improve immunity to particular diseases by exposing the body to weakened parts of the disease, thus encouraging the immune system to create antibodies strong enough to fight against the particular disease. Common travel vaccinations required include:

Typhoid Fever Vaccination

Typhoid fever is a gastro-intestinal bacterial infection spread through contaminated food and water.

Get it if you’re going to: Africa, Asia, South America or anywhere with poor sewage and water sanitation.

Malaria Vaccination

Malaria is spread by nighttime female mosquitos that do not leave a welt (those itchy, red bumps) on the skin. Symptoms include fever and chills.

Get it if you’re going to: Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitos. Symptoms include fever, headaches, jaundice, vomiting and fatigue.

Get it if you’re going to: Africa or Central and South America.

Cholera Vaccination

Cholera causes severe diarrhoea and is contracted through consumption of contaminated food or water.

Get it if you’re going to: Africa, Asia and Haiti.

Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus. Symptoms include fever, vomiting and headaches which can eventually lead to seizures and neurological changes.

Get it if you’re going to: East Asia.

To further avoid infection when travelling, one should always practice safe eating and drinking habits and wash your hands thoroughly and often. Keep your fingers and hands away from your face and mouth and drink only bottled water when possible.
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Read our 5 tips on how to avoid mosquito bites.

Vaccinations do not come without risks and can be quite costly, so getting vaccinated (or not) is a personal choice. One should always do their research on the potential risk of infection in the country they are going to and weigh out the pro’s and con’s.