30 Nov 2016
All about Travel Vaccines
Why bother with Travel Vaccinations?
I get asked this frequently. ‘Why do I need travel vaccinations- I am only going away for a week?’ The length of travel really has nothing to do with whether or not you need vaccinations. It only takes one insect bite or some poor hygiene in a restaurant to make you sick. We are very lucky in Ireland that we have generally healthy population and are at low risk of picking up serious infections. For this reason we have not been vaccinated or built up antibodies to fight many of the infections we may encounter other poorer or tropical countries. Many of these infections such as malaria, typhoid, hepatitis A etc can be very serious and even life-threatening or fatal. I understand when people do not want to part with the cost of the vaccines after paying all the money for their holiday but it pales in comparison to physical, emotional and financial costs of becoming seriously ill on holiday.
When should I get my travel vaccines?
6 weeks before you leave should be ample to time to get the vaccinations required for most destinations. 4 weeks would be ok for many and 2 weeks at the very latest for shorter trips. If it is a very short notice trip then by all means give us a call as we may be able to give you some of the vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis as well as advice.
Will travel vaccinations make me feel unwell?
In most cases you will not feel unwell after vaccination. You may be slightly sore in the area of the injection and some people get very mild flu like symptoms. It is more common to have flu-like symptoms or allergic reaction after the Yellow Fever vaccine because it is a live vaccine. For this reason we will always ask you to stay for at least 30 minutes after the appointment and advise you to take some paracetamol at home.
In short, the benefit of having travel vaccinations before travel far out way the side effects and costs of the vaccines. And once you have completed a course you are covered in most cases for a long time so will be able to travel more easily in the future.