Travel Vaccinations: How to Decide if You Should Get Vaccinated

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Over the years, the topic of vaccines, including travel vaccinations, has been rife with opinions, stories, and rumors.

I originally published this post in 2015 and decided to do some research and update this in 2018 to be a helpful resource as you decide what travel vaccinations to get (if any) before you hit the road. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.

In this guide, I let you know my opinion and experiences, and I also provide plenty of information to help you form your own opinion about travel vaccines and decide which (if any) vaccines you need.

See also: Staying Healthy While Traveling – Natural Preventions and Cures

Trying to decide which travel vaccinations to get (if any)? This guide is packed with info to help you make an informed decision about your health. #TravelVaccinations #TravelHealth #TravelSafety #FullTimeTravel #TravelPlanning #BudgetTravel #TravelTips
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Table of Contents

My Experiences with Travel Vaccines

What is a Vaccine?

The Different Categories of Vaccines

Potential Risks of Vaccinations

Commonly Recommended Vaccinations for Travelers

How to Know What Travel Vaccines You Need

Where to Get Travel Vaccinations

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance!

Travel Vaccination Resources

My Experiences with Travel Vaccines

I’m just going to come out and say it: I personally don’t believe in getting vaccinated to the hilt before traveling.

Years ago (in my pre-Professional-Hobo days), I took a vacation to South Africa. Knowing I’d be in malaria-land and visiting various spots with potential for exotic ailments, I visited a travel clinic in Canada and asked what I needed to do.

The doctor gave me a list of “highly recommended” vaccinations, including (but not limited to) the full range of hepatitis shots, malaria medication, and a yellow fever shot just for good measure. In addition to the travel clinic visit charges, this amounted to hundreds of dollars in vaccinations requiring multiple visits.

When I balked at the hepatitis vaccination regime, the doctor put a map of the world in front of me.

“All the blue countries on this map are countries that have a hepatitis problem. So really, if you want to travel at all, you should have these vaccines,” he said, logically.

Just about every country on the map was blue, except for North America.

When I told a friend visiting from the UK what happened, he said “Isn’t that funny. Before I started my trip, I went to a travel clinic in the UK. They put that same map in front of me! Except every country on my map was blue except for Europe!”

Hmm.

Hepatitis exists around the world. Granted in some countries it’s more of a going concern than in others.

But why the push for vaccinations only if we travel?

It could just be that that’s when people are asking about vaccines, so that’s when it comes up.

But a conspiracy theorist could have a field day with this topic, with suggestions of travel vaccinations not only being a money-grab, but also wider theories about the alternate agendas of pharmaceutical companies, or even certain societal “fear mongering” tactics about travel.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but neither will I totally dismiss the idea that not all travel vaccinations are recommended with our best intentions as the first priority.

I’ll admit, when I walked into the travel clinic before my trip to South Africa, I was already leery of travel vaccinations.

A few years prior, a friend of mine was going to Africa to do some aid work. She got all the recommended travel vaccinations (which were many), and then, because of a complication with one of the vaccinations, she spent six months paralyzed from the waist down. I don’t know the specifics of what happened, but was led to believe that it was a rare complication that can occur with one of the vaccinations she got.

In a world of playing the odds (as we do), you might say she had a greater chance of contracting whatever disease she was being vaccinated against, than experiencing this complication – thus validating the vaccination. But if the chances of contracting said disease was remote to begin with, and especially after hearing of this story, it made me wonder how wholly necessary many travel vaccinations are to begin with.

So I decided to do some research.

stethoscope and computer for travel vaccine research

What is a vaccine?

According the the World Health Organization (WHO), a vaccine is “a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease.”

“A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body’s immune system to recognize the agent as foreign, destroy it, and “remember” it, so that the immune system can more easily recognize and destroy any of these microorganisms that it later encounters.”

So basically, when you get a flu vaccine, they’re giving you an inert version of the flu, so that, if you encounter flu bacteria in your day-to-day life later on, your body can recognize it easily and overcome it.

This is also why some people feel “flu-y” after getting a flu shot. No, the vaccine didn’t give you the flu. It’s just your immune system learning how to respond to the disease.

See also: Everything You Need to Know about Travel Insurance, complete with full glossary of terms in plain language

The Different Categories of Vaccines

There are three different categories of travel vaccinations that you’ll encounter: routine, recommended, and required.

In this section, I go over the three categories and the common vaccinations you often find in each one.

Routine Vaccines

Many of us remember getting our booster shots as kids. It’s thanks to these that diseases like polio only exist in history books in most of the world.

But depending on what year you were vaccinated and what vaccines were available at the time, where you grew up, or what your parents believed, you may or may not have received all the routine vaccinations that are given to kids today.

As many of these diseases are still a problem in some countries, depending on where you’re traveling and if you got these routine vaccinations as a kid, your doctor may recommend these vaccinations before you go on your trip.

Routine vaccinations often recommended to travelers (for booster or renewal or to make sure they got it in the first place) include:

  • TDaP (Tetanus, Diptheria, Purtusiss)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella
  • Polio
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Or Twinrix (Hepatitis A and B at the same time)

Recommended Travel Vaccines

Depending on where you are traveling, certain vaccines not on the routine list may be recommended. These are often the vaccines that come to mind when you think of “travel vaccines”.

Commonly recommended travel vaccines, depending on destination, can include:

  • Typhoid fever
  • Malaria (medication, not vaccine)
  • Rabies
  • Cholera
  • Meningitis
  • Japanese Encephalitis

Required Travel Vaccinations

Depending on where you travel, you may require evidence of some travel vaccinations; yellow fever is a prime example.

For example, if you’ve just been to a country with a yellow fever problem (which includes much of South America and Africa), you might be required to show proof of vaccination before entering, or when entering other countries afterwards. Apparently it’s rarely requested, but occasionally required.

So if you’re planning on chilling in parts of the Amazon where yellow fever is a problem, you may well want this vaccination for both legal ease and peace of mind.

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Potential Risks of Vaccinations

As with any medical procedure, vaccinations can carry risk. The story of my friend who experienced temporary paralysis is an example. It’s up to you to weigh the risk of side effects against the risk of contracting a (potentially deadly) disease.

Different vaccinations have different potential side effects, so it’s important to do your research.

The CDC has a thorough guide to all potential side effects of 27 different vaccines, along with their likelihood.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)

Let’s go back to the story about my friend and her temporary paralysis. There are lots of stories on the news and in the grapevine these days about vaccines causing paralysis.

It turns out, it may have been Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare neurological disorder that affects about one person in 100,000.

Basically with GBS, your immune system gets confused and attacks your own nervous system. This can cause anything ranging from weakness to full blown paralysis, but fortunately, it’s temporary and most people recover.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke, the exact cause of GBS is unknown, but in some cases it seems to be triggered by infections, and in rare cases, vaccinations.

Incorrectly Administered Vaccine (SIRVA)

If you’re having problems with your arm or shoulder, it may have to do with where the shot was administered on your arm, rather than the actual vaccine. This is often called SIRVA (Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration).

About half of the cases in the vaccine court in the U.S. are from SIRVA injuries rather than problems with the vaccines themselves.

To try to prevent this, make sure you wear a shirt you can pull up the sleeve on, rather than pulling your shirt down (only exposing the high part of your arm). Also make sure that the person administering your shot is trained.

Allergic Reactions to Vaccines

It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to your vaccine.

If you have an egg, yeast, or latex allergy, make sure you’re getting vaccine brands that don’t have these allergens in the ingredients.

The Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has a great table that lists the brands of vaccines that have certain allergens in them.

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Getting a travel immunization shot

Typhoid Fever

Typhoid is a gastro-intestinal bacterial infection. It spreads through contaminated food and water, commonly in countries with poor hygiene and sewage. For example, if sewage contaminated with the bacteria gets into the water you drink or was used to wash your veggies.

Typhoid affects about 22 million people worldwide. If you do contract it and you recover, you can still spread the disease after you’ve recovered.

For tips on traveling through countries where the water isn’t potable, check this post out: Dealing With Parasites: A Guide to Clean Water Around the World.

Recommended for: Southeast Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and Western Pacific countries in areas where there is poor water and sewage sanitation

Malaria

Malaria is spread from nighttime-biting female mosquitoes that don’t leave a welt (so you may not even know you’ve been bitten). Symptoms are flu-like, including high fever and chills.

It’s prevented not by vaccine, but with medication that only protects you as long as you’re taking it. Some malaria medication also requires you to take it for a certain amount of time prior to arriving and after leaving your destination. If you don’t take it for the full course, you can be at risk.  

Choose your malaria medication/brand carefully and do your research; some brands of malaria medication carry potent side effects; other brands nullify birth control pills (even beyond the time you are taking the malaria medication).    

Recommended for: malaria endemic areas in Africa, Central and South America, and Asia

Rabies

Rabies is found everywhere (except Antarctica), so you may wonder why you’d need it specifically for traveling. This vaccine might be recommended if you’re traveling to a place with a large wild dog population or where there hasn’t been a strong dog-vaccination program. It’s also recommended if you’ll be in rural areas or working with animals.

Recommended for: parts of Africa, Asia, and Central and South America

Cholera

You may know it as the disease from the beginning of The Secret Garden, but Cholera is still a problem in some countries. It spreads through contaminated food and water. The fluid loss from the symptoms can lead to severe dehydration. Travelers with suppressed immune systems or reduced stomach acid production (like if you take antacids or smoke cannabis) are particularly susceptible.

Recommended for: Some nations in Africa, as well as Bangladesh, India, Yemen, and Haiti

Polio

If you haven’t gotten a polio shot since you were a kid, some doctors recommend getting a booster as an adult before going to areas with polio risk or where polio is still an endemic problem.

Recommended for: polio-endemic countries Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan and possibly their neighboring countries (see map here)

Meningitis

There are several different types of meningitis, but they all target your brain and nervous system in your spinal cord. It can cause death in 5% to 10% of patients even if they get treatment right away. Outbreaks can occur anywhere, but the highest rate of infection happens in the “meningitis belt” of sub-saharan Africa.

Recommended for: countries with areas in the meningitis-belt of Africa (see map here)

Japanese Encephalitis

Another mosquito-spread disease, Japanese encephalitis is most common in rural areas of Asia. It’s also higher risk in tropical and sub-tropical areas year-round, and in northern Asia is a high risk only in summer and fall.

Recommended for: Southeast Asia and Asia (see map here)

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a virus spread (once again) from mosquito bites. It’s not always fatal, but there’s no cure or treatment, and about 15% of cases develop illnesses that can become fatal.

There are also several countries that require yellow fever vaccination for entry or if you’ve been to a yellow fever-endemic country recently.

Recommended for: certain parts of Africa and South America (see maps here)

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How to Know What Travel Vaccines You Need

An easy way to find out what vaccines might be recommended for your destination and why is with the CDC’s “For Travelers” Tool.

CDC For Travelers Vaccine tool

Pick your destination from the drop down menu, and select what kind of traveler you are (for example, I’d choose “Study Abroad/Extended Stay because of my long-term, slow travel tendencies). Then bam: you’ll get a list of the recommended vaccinations and why you might need each, so that you can decide what will be relevant for your travels.

IAMAT health risk information tool

If you want even more information, the resources from the IAMAT go into even more depth on the healthcare situations in different countries and why certain vaccines are recommended. Just choose your destination from the dropdown menu and click Go.

Where to Get Travel Vaccinations

Okay, you’ve got your trip planned and you’ve researched your travel vaccines. Now you’re ready to get vaccinated!

Make sure you get this done at least a few weeks before your trip, especially for the super important/necessary ones like yellow fever (where they might not even let you into the country).

Here are the different places you can go to get your travel vaccinations:

Regular Healthcare Providers in Your Home Country

Talking to your family doctor about your trip is a good idea. They’re already familiar with your health history. If they don’t have the vaccines you need in stock or can’t get them, they’ll be able to refer you to a place that does.

Many hospitals and county health departments stock travel vaccines, and even Walgreens offers travel vaccines in their in-store pharmacy.

A Travel Clinic in Your Home Country

You can also go to a private travel clinic that focuses strictly on travel-related health. You can find one through the International Society of Travel Medicine directory.

Now, be warned, a lot of these clinics use scare tactics to get you to take every vaccination imaginable for your destination (like in my story from earlier). That’s why it’s important to do your research ahead of time.

A Clinic or Doctor Abroad

When I took off to travel full-time, I didn’t know all the places I’d visit (I still don’t). Thus, given that I already didn’t think much of travel vaccinations, I didn’t get anything before I left Canada.

I later discovered that travel clinics exist all over the world; if you need a vaccination along the way, you can get it as and when you need it – often costing much less than you’d pay at a travel clinic at home.

As convenient (and budget-friendly) as these may be, it’s important to make sure that these are reputable, high-quality health care providers. Depending on where you are, there may be clinics with outdated, old, or ineffective medicines that aren’t up to standard.

I’ve never used them before, but IAMAT has a free membership program that gives access to their directory of vetted, English-speaking doctors around the world. It may make it easier to make sure you get quality care while you’re abroad.

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travel medicine pills

It’s Your Decision

Remember: it’s up to you what vaccinations to get or not get.

Everyone has a unique health situation, history, and travel itinerary that will impact what vaccinations should be on your list, and not everyone will be the same, even regardless of destination.

It’s important to do your own research before you talk to your doctor, and form your own opinions.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance!

Whether you decide to get travel vaccinations or not, it’s super important to be insured while you’re on the road. You never know what can happen, and medical emergencies can really trim – nay, destroy – your budget (not to mention put a damper on your trip!).

To learn more about travel insurance, check out my Complete & Easy Guide to Insurance for Travelers.

You can also learn about expat insurance (and how it’s different from travel insurance) in my guide to expat insurance here.

Longer-term travelers, I’m a big fan of Safety Wing. You can apply for and renew your policy from abroad (which is less common than you think), it’s cheap, they offer both regular travel insurance (for emergencies) and remote health insurance (for a full health plan that follows you around), AND – they cover pandemics just like any other illness….which can’t be said of many insurance companies these days. Here’s everything you need to know about the best travel insurance for 2021 and beyond.

Note: If you end up purchasing an insurance policy through this link or widget, I will receive a small commission. This in no way affects your price, and helps me to keep The Professional Hobo going as a lifestyle travel resource. Thank you in advance for your support!

Travel Vaccination Resources

If you want to do even more research than what’s in this guide, here are some great resources that are generally authoritative, politically unbiased, and informative:

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Conclusion

Hopefully now you feel empowered to make your own decision about travel vaccines and how to best prepare for your travels.

Have you had any experiences with diseases abroad? I had dengue and chikungunya before, and they were not pleasant. In fact, I’ve had three diseases, survived three natural disasters, a near-fatal accident, passport theft, and all kinds of mis-adventures. Got a strong stomach? Then read about it all at Brace Yourself: Travel Isn’t All Roses & Lollipops.   

Was this guide helpful? Let me know in the comments!

Depending on where you go, Travel Vaccinations could be vital. Here's what you need to know about the various travel vaccinations, where to get them, and whether you need them. #travel #vaccinations #travelvaccinations #travelshots #travelclinic #yellowfever #dengue #malaria #TheProfessionalHobo #traveldisease #disease
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80 thoughts on “Travel Vaccinations: How to Decide if You Should Get Vaccinated”

  1. Disclosure: I am a doctor. But the anti-vaccine thing really bugs me so I had to write in.

    Of course the list of travel vaccines is long, and no one is saying you have to get them or need all of them, but you should be aware of what risks there are in an area, think about it, and make an informed decision before traveling. Especially if you might be going off the beaten path. That’s all anyone is saying.

    Some other thoughts based on comments:
    – Hepatitis B is a really bad thing to have that is easily preventable with vaccines. I don’t care if you travel or not, everyone should get this vaccine no matter where they live or where they go.
    – Someone said they never get vaccinated for anything – whooping cough is making a comeback. Non-vaccinated adults are giving it to children. So keep current on DPT, its not a big deal.
    – Someone said the flu shot makes you sick. This is not true. The flu kills people every year.
    – Doctors don’t make any significant money off vaccines. It would be a really stupid thing to do in order for financial gain.

    I would encourage people who travel to exotic locations to read this recent article:
    http://www.vox.com/2015/11/13/9723136/neglected-tropical-diseases
    while the diseases in the article are not vaccine-preventable illnesses, it does highlight that these are all very real diseases, very endemic to these areas, and while it may seem like bad things are uncommon they do happen so you should do whatever you can to not let it happen to you.

    Reply
    • Hi Josh,
      Thank you for weighing in! And I completely agree – inform yourself and decide whether to/what to vaccinate for accordingly.
      And I’ve had my own share of (non-vaccine-preventable) tropical diseases, which as you say, are no walk in the park. An ounce of prevention (whatever that prevention may be – for example, DEET) is worthwhile.

      Reply
    • @Josh

      You say the anti vaccine thing bothers you. Yet your first advise (as a doctor who should know what you are talking about) is to get hep b. You recommend everyone to get this vaccine ‘no matter where they live or go’ as it’s ‘a really bad thing.’ Are you aware you can only catch hep b via bodily fluids such as blood via needles or sexual intercourse? There for not a high risk for anyone unless sharing needles or having sex abroad. Also as stated by the NHS ‘It often doesn’t cause any obvious symptoms in adults and typically passes in a few months without treatment’ so not that serious in most healthy adults after all.

      Unfortunately it seems doctors don’t always do a lot of research on the subject before stating ‘I’m a doctor and therefore I know…..’

      That’s not to say some other diseases are not higher risk or more harmful so best to always do your own research before coming to an educated decision.

      Reply
      • “…or having sex abroad.” You don’t believe you can get Hep B if you only have sex in your home country? I have some news for you. If you are a dating single person having sex, or you or your spouse cheat, you might be in for a big surprise with Hep B even in your home country.

        Reply
      • Susie.

        Its uneducated people like yourself that are leading to a comeback of nearly eradicated diseases. Unfortunately the only way people like yourself learn is to get extremely sick from a preventable disease because you have come to your own ‘educated decision’ and then all that happens is we have one less anti-vaccination idiot to listen to. Its not like your ever going to go back to all the forums your posted crap on and apologise to everyone and say you were wrong and now your wondering if you going to die from completely preventable complications from a Hep B infection.

        Reply
      • I was thinking the same thing. He does zero research, most do not. He is also parroting pharmaceutical propaganda, but a tad less pushy. There is side effects to vaccinations that could include death or life long damage such as brain damage and nerve damage etc. you don’t take them “just in case”.

        Reply
        • Vaccines save many many more lives. Tens of thousands die from the flu each year… A flu shot can give you between 25 – 80 % protection from getting it.. and if you still get in anyways… it won’t be as severe.
          My boss used to laugh at me because I got the flu hot every year. He said “look at me.. I never get sick.” Then one year he lost two weeks of work when he got the flu, and when returned to work, he was still in rough shape from the effects of the flu. He never criticized me or laughed about me getting the flu shot again. The flu is much much worse than the common cold.. and can be deadly. Why would you not get the shot? Ever wonder why millions don’t die every year anymore or become disfigured from Smallpox ? ? Because of vaccine….

          Reply
          • This about vaccine is a big way off maked money..cause much of this vaccines don’t have effect on deffending your immune sisteam. anyway. Is all about maked money..and keep trying peopler as gueanny pig….most of this vaccine intest of help you they make your body sick. and intest of you enjoy your vaccation ..you will being sick witrought to enjoy it..We are adult..are awera of all this deseace out there…So as humand been.are the ones to decided on takes this vaccines or not..they very costly..and lots of extra money wasted on them..

      • The doctors who really DO know the truth about vaccines are now risking their lives to educate the public. Many doctors & others have been “suicided” for speaking out about vaccine agenda’s nefarious intentions. Sad to see such “smart” people who can become doctors be so woefully foolish when it comes to just accepting vaccine supremacy without actually investigating whether this is true or NOT….
        homeopathy WORKS & always has! That’s why pHARMa is knocking it’s head against the wall trying to quash & mock it out of existence! Homeoprophylaxis is the original safe & nontoxic vaccine! It’s use is growing from the grass roots worldwide with many morally courageous & wise doctors recommending its use! Vaccines only maim & murder – wake up to the truth!!!!

        Reply
    • As a doctor you should have become aware that the acellular pertussis vaccine has been shown to be the problem in spreading pertussis, not non-vaccinators. It’s now known that the vaccine doesn’t protect for more than about 3 years, and that the vaccine recipient may carry pertussis asymptomatically and infect others as a result. They are also more susceptible to parapertussis.

      As for the safety of vaccines, have a look at world aluminium toxicity expert Dr Chris Exley’s research. He has now stated that the aluminium adjuvants in many vaccines is almost certainly responsible for the adverse effects of vaccines, including autism, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome – and contributes to the body’s aluminium load which is now strongly implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease. The adverse effects of aluminium adjuvants aren’t just affecting children, but many people who have had travel vaccines, particularly Hep B, develop chronic disease as a result. They trigger eczema, asthma and general allergic problems in many people.

      Reply
    • i have a neighbour never sick ever, at 74 take a flu shot and was taken to hospital in acute GBS syndrome! 4 months later in rehab still not walking..she said ” the flu shot she trusted and took by her health provider is suspected in triggering it.
      stop feeding pharma-lies .they make billions.. and kill more people then war.

      Reply
  2. I just addressed this with my Doctor last week. I’m going to Costa Rica for 2 weeks in February and I want to be sure that I don’t spend my trip sick. I got 1/2 of Hep A (the other half is after 6 months, so it’ll be past my trip, but he said some protection is better than none) and I’m taking some pills before I go for Typhoid. He said that it was totally up to me if I got them since they were just recommended. But In this case, “rather safe than sorry” rings in my ears. I will also be getting travel insurance.

    Reply
    • Hi Cait,
      Good for you for doing your research and deciding accordingly. And especially good for you for getting travel insurance. Here’s an article I wrote about travel insurance (it’s geared towards Canadians but almost all of it – including the links to reputable travel insurance companies and advice about what your credit card covers – applies to many nationalities): httpss://www.creditwalk.ca/dear-nora-ultimate-travel-insurance-guide-canadians/
      Have a great trip!

      Reply
  3. I found this piece and some of the travellers’ views quite worrying – why risk your health?! Sure, vaccines aren’t fun and they do cost money, but good health is priceless. I always do my research & find out my options before travelling somewhere new. I have an auto-immune disease so I know I have to be especially careful, but sometimes it is frustrating that people who’ve been lucky enough to never have a major illness take such risks! :s

    Reply
    • Hi Keri,
      Thanks for weighing in with your viewpoint. Indeed having had your health already compromised would lead you to a different way of thinking than some others who haven’t had to consider such things. I still believe there is more than one way to skin a cat…as they say, different strokes for different folks.

      Reply
    • The only thing I have against vaccinations are the prices. Which are completely overpriced in america from 5000-10000%. The twinrx shot cost the doctors office under $3 but they charge $100-150 per shot. Tetanus is around 50 cents but they charge $75+. I do believe in vaccinations but how they gouge peoples wallets thru fear is a disgusting practice that has plagued Americas medical system.

      Reply
  4. Great article! I have visited Jamaica last month. I had to get this vaccination. We should trust to our doctors. Greetings!

    Reply
  5. I also had a bad experience with vaccination, my arm was paralized and had to spend a few days in the hospital. I personally prefer avoiding vaccinations. But as you said, there are some countries that require evidence of your vaccinations and that is the only reason I haven’t travelled to those countries yet. I think this is very much a personal decision and everyone should get all information while considering their own experience and the risk of getting sick out of vaccinations too which is something not to underestimate.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Michela. That must have been scary with a paralyzed arm. Were there any further/ongoing complications?

      Reply
      • Thanks God, there weren’t complications. Nonetheless a painful and scary situation. Since then I haven’t had any vaccinations any more! Many years after that experience I met someone (biologist) who told me how bad vaccinations can be for your health. I think while at times a vaccinations can save your life, there are good alternative ways to prevent getting sick with a viral disease. Boosting the immune system is one of these, for instance but there are many more.

        Reply
        • Hi Michela,

          You met a biologist (you think) that told you how bad vaccination are… I’m definitely not getting my children vaccinated after being regaled with such a compelling argument as that.

          Reply
          • You should at least get your kids vaccinated against Tetanus, Diptheria and Polio… Chicken Pox and Measles
            Do you know anything about those diseases?
            Do you know what Tetanus does to you if you get it? Epecially a child ? ? It’s one of the worst most suffering ways to die there is.
            How would you feel if you didn’t vaccinate your child and they got Tetanus ? ? Tetanus is everywhere in the soil in the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetanus

    • Vaccines must be injected properly, or there can be a problem. If you get someone who is in a hurry or doesn’t care if they are not injecting in the right area of your arm, you could have something go wrong.
      They are to be injected into you arm muscle or some other muscle..and nowhere else.

      Quote: “When a vaccine is injected too high on the arm, the needle intended to go into the arm muscle instead goes into the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that protects the tendons of the shoulder. Vaccines are supposed to provoke the immune system, and here, they provoke the immune system to attack the bursa, leading to pain and sometimes a frozen shoulder.”
      https://www.wired.com/2015/09/cases-shoulder-injuries-vaccines-increasing/

      Reply
  6. Like Josh, full disclosure here. I’m a Canadian Public Health Nurse and one of my jobs is to provide advice and immunizations to travelers. We also just got back from a year of travel through Asia (overlanding, so no 5 star hotels to be had).

    First off, I think you needed to be up front that what you were expressing was an opinion. The fact is that vaccines work and diseases can kill you. Any time you travel out of first world countries with high levels of immunization, and thus low levels of preventable diseases, you will meet people who can’t believe how stupid us westerners are to avoid a simple needle that will prevent your children dying. Read any of the information about how Nigeria managed to become polio free last year.

    I carry with me the advice I received years ago from a Medical Professor involved with Medecins Sans Frontieres in Africa. He stressed the importance of taking your own medications with you for three reasons:

    1. The medicine you are sold might not be what you think it is.
    2. It might be some outdated stuff from a first world country that is no longer effective
    3. In the unlikely possibility that it actually is an effective medication, for malaria perhaps, you have taken a precious limited resource away from a people who have more need of it than you.

    I think this holds true for vaccines as well. When I receive vaccines in Canada, I know that the product is safe, effective and has been kept at the correct temperatures to ensure that. I’m prepared to pay the premium for this assurance. It also means that I am not taking a limited resource in a country I am visiting AND by decreasing the likelihood of getting ill with a preventable disease, I also am not asking the local health care system to spend limited resources on me.

    For the record, in our year away, I could have come in contact with Measles, Polio, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Hepatitis A and B, Rabies and Typhoid. My immunizations are up to date for all of those as well as Yellow Fever. I carried a record with me in case a country or an airline asked for proof. The only thing I will need to repeat is Tetanus,diphtheria and pertussis (free, every ten years) and Typhoid (every two to three years at a cost of less than one meal out). Inflluenza? I missed that one because we were in the southern hemisphere for the northern flu season. Absolutely, I’ve had mine this year.

    Reply
    • Hi Lorri,
      Thank you for weighing in! You make a great point about the quality of vaccines in “first world countries”. I hadn’t actually considered that. Thank you!

      Reply
  7. Great article! One that many people are afraid to speak up about.

    Personally, I know too many (severely) vaccine-injured children to ever put heavy metals and toxic preservatives in my body (or my children’s bodies). Despite the medical community loving to quote the “slim odds” of a negative side effect as proof that its wise to get vaccinated, the statistics are completely skewed. Even if we don’t all get severe illnesses due to a vaccine (as thousands of families have experienced and in response, have been PAID billions of dollars from the vaccine court), I don’t believe we understand fully the residual effects heavy metals and synthetic preservatives have on the cellular system. For example, someone may blame their age for their arthritic symptoms they start experiencing but they don’t stop to think that it could be the heavy metals in their vaccines wreaking havoc on their cellular system (research shows that 1 in 5 women of child-bearing age will develop arthritic symptoms after the MMR shot). And this is just ONE example. Never mind all the side effects we don’t know about because there’s no money in researching vaccine side effects — just in researching vaccines. Never mind that we don’t have a SINGLE double-blind placebo study on what combined vaccines do to our bodies. Or the body of a newborn infant.

    That said, if one is not wholly committed to incredible health, than I do think it’s wise to get the vaccines. So if you don’t know anything about gut flora, pesticide residue, eat fast food, etc, probably better to get the vaccines and play the odds.

    Reply
    • Hi! 🙂 A short while back in uni I was doing some digging into vaccine side effects for a paper I was writing and found that France is much, much more responsible in their treatment of vaccines (reporting side effects, etc.). So it’s sort of a case where one has to look abroad for the research that’s being censored here in Canada and the US alike.

      Reply
      • Great point, Carla. I think many of us surmise that the quality of medical care and research is tops in North America, but there are a lot of other countries that shouldn’t be overlooked.
        For example, many years ago, I had heard that asparatame was banned in Japan and other countries. What did they know about it that North America didn’t???

        Reply
    • If you are concerned abut putting heavy metals in you children’s bodies, then do not give them canned tuna or salmon or any other fish. The levels of metals in vaccinations is miniscule now with the latest up-to-date vaccines. Much less than vaccines a decade ago. There is more heavy metal, like lead and mercury in a couple of cans of tuna then there are in any vaccination shot.

      Example: The Environmental Working Group performed an analysis of pregnant women who eat fish to examine their exposure to mercury. They measured mercury levels in hair samples of 254 women eating about as much fish as the U.S. government recommends for pregnant mothers. About 30 percent of women had mercury levels over the safe limit set by the EPA, considered too high for pregnant women. Using even stricter limits recommended by other experts, the researchers found that 60 percent of women had excessive mercury levels in their hair. Frequent fish eaters had 11 times more mercury than a group who rarely ate fish.

      Reply
      • Sorry but your comparison of heavy metals in vaccines and heavy metals in tinned fish is completely illogical. Vaccines are INJECTED, fish is eaten. While drinking a shot of pure alcohol will make you sick, it won’t kill you. Inject that into your bloodstream and you’re a gonner. See my point? I think you’d benefit from reading up about the difference between oral absorption and intravenous absorption.

        Reply
        • The only heavy metal left in a very few vaccines is Merury in the form of Thimerosal ….which is used to prevent bacteria from growing in vaccine…. But the type of Mercury used is pretty well harmless. Few people know there are different forms of Mercury.
          When learning about thimerosal and mercury it is important to understand the difference between two different compounds that contain mercury: ethylmercury and methylmercury. They are totally different materials. Methylmercury is formed in the environment when mercury metal is present. If this material is found in the body, it is usually the result of eating some types of fish or other food. High amounts of methylmercury can harm the nervous system. This has been found in studies of some populations that have long-term exposure to methylmercury in foods at levels that are far higher than the U.S. population. In the United States, federal guidelines keep as much methylmercury as possible out of the environment and food, but over a lifetime, everyone is exposed to some methylmercury. Ethylmercury is formed when the body breaks down thimerosal. Low-level ethylmercury exposures from vaccines are very different from long-term methylmercury exposures because ethylmercury is broken down by the body differently and clears out of the blood more quickly.

          Reply
    • My grandparents and my mother got bad arthritis… and they never got vaccinated for anything, not even the flu shot.. My grandfather died from horrible complications from the flu. He died before the flu shot came out. The flu and its complications kill tens of thousands every year. But it used to kill many more before the flu vaccine arrived. Vaccines save millions of lives… vaccines got rid of smallpox.. Smallpox used to kill about 5,000,000 per year…. it was the first disease gotten rid of worldwide due to a massive vaccine effort. Diptheria…..86% of deaths now prevented by vaccination…Measles used to kill more than 2,000,000 each year around the world… now less than 1,000,000 die… because of vaccines… and the list goes on..
      A couple of shots can give you lifetime protection against both Hepatitis A and B.. Just one Yellow Fever shot is now good for a lifetime…
      Recently an Australian man returned home from some time in Thailand….. he refused vaccinations …and found out he got Japanese Encephalitis…. It killed him after giving him headaches, a fever, convulsions and making him go mentally confused. Japanese Encephalitis kills…. I had no bad reaction at all when I got my JE shots. But I did get pretection from Japanese Encephalitis.
      http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victorian-man-dies-after-contracting-rare-and-potentially-fatal-japanese-encephalitis-virus-in-thailand-20170621-gwvztd.html
      Why do we wear seatbelts? Because they save more lives than they take.. I remember when seat belts first came out.. some people were totally against them… because there were cases of seatbelts resulting in death… But the fact is…. many more would die if they were not used. Seat belts save lives…. something that I myself have witnessed on the highway..
      Same with vaccines…..the horror stories some people believe are not evidence that you and you children should not be vaccinated.
      Saying that vaccines caused such and such a disease makes as much sense as saying that since some people who have seisures also drank apple juice before the seisure… that no one should drink apple juice.
      Vaccines used today are much safer than the ones in the past. among children born in the past two decades, vaccinations will prevent more than 20 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.The vaccine additive thimerosal, a preservative that contains a form of mercury (organomercurcial, not methylmercury) also does not cause autism. It is now only included in pediatric vaccines in trace amounts (or not at all), but there is no medical evidence that it causes autism in patients.
      Vaccines are much better now… than before… let’s do away with the conspiracy theories…

      Reply
      • Robert – I’m overjoyed that so many parents are wizening up to the vax-cult-missionary script that all sound exactly the same. Hope you’re at least getting “paid” well. Moral people would say “no thank you” to tainted money earned by encouraging people to inject veritable infectious FILTH cultured on animal & murdered human baby DNA & then doused in a mysterious brew of slow-kill chemicals. Just read the product insert…you’d have to be completely ignorant to allow anyone to inject yourself or your baby with that murderous mess. You probably don’t care that nonvaxd ppl are thriving in greater numbers. If you’re vaxd Robert & want to clean out that filth – you can detox & perhaps you’d get clean spiritually & sing a different tune about vax. Check out Del Bigtree’s Highwire podcast for some FUN vax intrigue…

        Reply
  8. Hi Nora,

    I have never been to any countries that suggests vaccinations. I have been super attracted to Peru.
    I personally do. ot feel comfortable putting vaccines into my body.
    You have lived there and travellec South America a lot.
    So basically all these 2 years living in Peru you did not get any vaccines and never had any health issues.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Leyla,
      Depending on where you go in Peru, no you don’t need vaccinations. (I haven’t had any). There are some areas of Peru that I believe are known for yellow fever (like in certain areas of the jungle). While you don’t need a vaccination to get into Peru, if you visit one of these areas, other countries might want to see that you’re vaccinated before admitting you. But then again, that’s only if you tell that country’s immigration agent that you were just in a yellow-fever area!

      Reply
      • When I travel, I notice that immigration in the countries I visit often look in my passport. If they look in your passport and see you were in a Yellow Fever area…… and you don’t have your YF International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever… they might give you a very hard time… You might want to keep that in mind.

        Reply
      • “But then again, that’s only if you tell that country’s immigration agent that you were just in a yellow-fever area!”

        Wow, that’s crazy dangerous advice, and the exact way that you could spread a dangerous illness to a population that isn’t prepared for it when you arrive back to your home country or another one. You’re not only putting yourself at risk, but many many others.

        Reply
        • Hi Dustin,
          While I humbly understand your point, it’s important to note that yellow fever is not contagious or transmitted from person to person.

          The problem would happen if I unwittingly contracted the disease and then traveled to another country/area with mosquitoes (that could theoretically bite me and spread the disease that way).
          However with the incubation period and symptoms, as I understand it I’d be either quarantined or dead by the time that happened.

          You know what’s even better than all this? Not going to areas that have yellow fever. Problem solved. 😉

          Reply
  9. Hi Nora! Great post on travel vaccines. As a quick note, I encourage people to do a titer to see what their level of protection is. A titer is a simple blood test which you can order to test immunity levels. For example, we travel a lot with our kids. Typically kids receive three polio vaccines. We titered our kids after the second and they already had high level of immunity, so we are able to skip the third shot in the series (research herd immunity for more on why so many are suggested). I also had a polio titer to see if I STILL have immunity as an adult from the vaccines I had as a child–which I do! This was really helpful to feel confident that we didn’t over-immunize on one hand and on the other hand that we were all protected. Also, some people do not receive immunity for certain shots due to their genetic makeup. HepB immunity is rarely developed from a vaccine for those with Celiac Disease (see CDF.org for more on that). Lastly, from so much of what I’ve read and experienced, real importance needs to be placed on some simple ways to avoid getting sick: managing exposure to mosquitos and washing hands! 🙂 Travel safe everyone!

    Reply
  10. Thanks for a great post! Deciding which travel vaccinations to get can be overwhelming but this article along with all the comments have been a huge help. I really appreciate all the perspectives!

    Reply
  11. I like how Robb compared vaccinations to some kind of insurance. My husband and I are going to take a break from work and do some traveling, and I want to make sure we stay healthy. It sounds like it would be a good idea to get vaccinations so we don’t have to worry about getting sick.

    Reply
  12. I’ve always gotten the routine vaccinations most of us here in Canada get as we grow up. Like Tetanus shot every ten years. And I’ve been getting the Flu shot each year for the past 35 years, and never had a problem with the shots. My boss used to argue with me against the Flu shot, and then he got the Flu really bad one year and lost two weeks of work, and still felt like crap when he came back to work. The flu is a hell of a lot worse than the common cold. He didn’t argue with me against the flu shot anymore.
    Travelling in the world for four months a couple years ago, I got all the travel shots before I left, at at the Niagara Region Travel Health Clinic, a government clinic, including Yellow Fever which is now seen as being a shot that is good for a lifetime. You never need it again.
    Over a period of several months before I left, I got vaccinated for Hep A & B, Rabies, Typhoid, Pneumonia, Japanese Encephalitis, Meningitis, Yellow Fever, and took the oral Vaccine Dukoral for Cholera and Traveller’s Diarrhea. I also got booster vaccinations for Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussus and Polio from my family doctor.
    (I also got the “Shingles” vaccination.)
    I’m lucky in that my employment health insurance reimburses me 80% of the cost of the shots.
    I had no bad reaction to any of those vaccines, except for the Tetanus shot, which gave me a bit of a sore upper arm for a couple of days and then it cleared up. And the shots did not make me sick.
    Never got sick while in third world nations.

    Reply
    • Hi Robert,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad vaccinations have served you well, and that you’ve not had any bad reactions or gotten sick on the road. Yay!

      Reply
  13. Well, I was vaccinated as a child, got my leg paralyzed. My bro got diabetes shortly after vaccine. No one from our family’s genetic nor nothing – we never had any of the problems (no diabetes, no leg problems).
    Ever since I am not visiting a doctor, like after my 18’s or so… I am pretty OK. Though I had some wounds here and there, without any clean water on hand. But of course, it’s only 1 in a gazillion personal opinion.
    Of course, these are travel and not child vaccines.
    Anyway – I would say go for vaccines, if there would be a list of what is there inside. Is there any metal molecules? If yes, WHY SO ?
    I always read what is inside of a food, or how was it processed – therefore I really care how was the vaccine processed. If there is any mercury, lead or whatever, I wonder why.
    Anyway, I had no flu since my 18 (when I stopped taking medicine, but cared about healthy lifestyle, no stress and perhaps also megadosage of vitamin C).
    A lot of doctors (true doctor with 20+ years skills) are against some vaccines too. Allergy doctor and so on.
    Where is the truth, I am not yet sure, but I never believe someone, just because some shareholder, ehm sorry, studies told me so.
    Some may help, surely, bu some may harm even more.
    It’s a gamble..

    Reply
    • Vaccines do a lot more good than bad. On the other hand… diseases only do bad….and kill and cripple thousands. The Flu for instance.. kills thousands in the U.S. and Canada each year. Worldwide, these annual epidemics are estimated to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths. In industrialized countries most deaths associated with influenza occur among people age 65 or older December 9, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control posted estimates of seasonal flu deaths from more recent seasons in the United States. CDC estimates that from 2010-2011 to 2013-2014, influenza-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of 12,000 (during 2011-2012) to a high of 56,000 (during 2012-2013).
      I’d much rather take my chances with vaccines, instead of the diseases.

      Reply
    • I’m very curious about your thought processes. Do you believe the diseases are safer than the vaccines ?
      I’ve been getting vaccinations all my life… with no problems. Same with all my family and friends…
      So you’v heard about Thimerosal in some vaccines… with mercury metal.
      Are you aware there are at least two types of mercury… and the much safer form is used in vaccines… but in a very very miniscule tiny amount ?
      When learning about thimerosal and mercury it is important to understand the difference between two different compounds that contain mercury: ethylmercury and methylmercury. They are totally different materials. Methylmercury is formed in the environment when mercury metal is present. If this material is found in the body, it is usually the result of eating some types of fish or other food. High amounts of methylmercury can harm the nervous system. This has been found in studies of some populations that have long-term exposure to methylmercury in foods at levels that are far higher than the U.S. population. In the United States, federal guidelines keep as much methylmercury as possible out of the environment and food, but over a lifetime, everyone is exposed to some methylmercury. Ethylmercury is formed when the body breaks down thimerosal. Low-level ethylmercury exposures from vaccines are very different from long-term methylmercury exposures because ethylmercury is broken down by the body differently and clears out of the blood more quickly.

      Reply
      • If anti-vaxers were rational, there would be no anti-vaxers. Don’t get tilted. You can’t change someone’s mind with science when their views of science has already been tainted.

        Reply
  14. btw i forgot to mention, im not taking into consideration the cost of shot. so i do not appear as some extreme money saver.

    Reply
    • Hi Adam,
      You bring up a great point about checking into the ingredients of the vaccines (and depending on who you talk to, I’ve been led to believe that ingredients such as heavy metals etc are in them). Like you, I also prefer going the natural route, since I have much more control over what goes in my body. But western medicine also has its place.

      Reply
      • Apparently your body absorbs more heavy metals eating a tin of tuna then you do with the latest modern vaccines… a lot more…
        Do you have silver fillings? You’re getting exposed to much more mercury in the silver amalgam fillings than you do by taking a great many vaccine shots….amalgam actually consists of a combination of metals. These include silver, mercury, tin and copper.
        The amount of bad stuff in today’s vaccines is a lot lower than it was in the past. Negligable. Such minute amounts as to be insignificant.

        Reply
        • Your body doesn’t absorb more heavy metal from digesting them. You are right that there are more heavy metals in tuna but your body is absorbing less because unless those heavy metals you eat are being chelated (which is possible if you eat glyphosate contaminated foods) those heavy metals in your stomach are going to have a hard time getting through the blood brain barrier. However, heavy metals such as aluminum shot directly into the arm from a vaccine can pass into the blood brain barrier.

          Reply
          • Aluminum is a light metal… not a heavy metal….

            And yes… mercury can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. Organic mercury: mercury combined with carbon. Methyl mercury is a common form of organic mercury. These forms of mercury are soluble in lipids and cross the blood brain barrier and placenta easily.
            Th only metal in vaccines now is a very very minuscule amount of mercury. It’s not 1980 anymore. Vaccines are much improved. And there is more than one type of mercury… something perhaps you were not aware of.
            When learning about thimerosal used in some (not all) vaccines.. and mercury, it is important to understand the difference between two different compounds that contain mercury: ethylmercury and methylmercury. They are totally different materials. Methylmercury is formed in the environment when mercury metal is present. If this material is found in the body, it is usually the result of eating some types of fish or other food. High amounts of methylmercury can harm the nervous system. This has been found in studies of some populations that have long-term exposure to methylmercury in foods at levels that are far higher than the U.S. population. In the United States, federal guidelines keep as much methylmercury as possible out of the environment and food, but over a lifetime, everyone is exposed to some methylmercury. Ethylmercury is formed when the body breaks down thimerosal. Low-level ethylmercury exposures from vaccines are very different from long-term methylmercury exposures because ethylmercury is broken down by the body differently and clears out of the blood more quickly.

  15. +1 to Robb’s comments about vaccines being a kind of insurance. Every intervention has potential side effects, it’s just whether you feel the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk…

    Reply
  16. I am considering taking my toddler to Kenya to meet his father. I am against vaccinations from my extensive research and from the reaction after his first lot (that I was pressured into) and so have never given him any further.

    Now I am in the dilemma of whether I give him any travel vaccinations. I really do not want to.

    I myself on my first ever visit to Kenya had all the vaccinations and the anti-malarial and I got sick, malaria, typhoid, amongst others. My five trips after that I took nothing and got nothing. I just feel like the proof is in the pudding BUT when it comes to your child it is such a hard decision to make.

    Although I loved the first line of your article.. because I don’t believe in them either

    Reply
    • Hi Beks,
      I hear you – it’s a tough decision when it comes to kids.

      I have a friend here in Bali where I’m currently staying. She’s an expat, with a 7 month old child. She lets her child do anything a local child his age would do…right down to licking the floor of the local restaurant. Her rationale is that kids are very resilient, and in fact can handle germs and bacterias that are foreign to us (having been raised in different parts of the world) better than we can! She must be on to something, because her son hasn’t once been ill.

      Here’s another way of looking at it. The last thing you want is for your child to be an orphan because you died from not having a vaccination. But, if you don’t get a vaccination for yourself, you must believe that you won’t die as a result of that decision. So if you won’t vaccinate yourself, then maybe that same rationale is good enough for your child.

      I don’t know. I don’t have kids, so all I can do is share my very limited point of view.

      Reply
  17. I liked that you pointed out that you should go to a travel clinic. It does seem like a good thing to be aware of when you need to have immunization does properly. I know that I wouldn’t want to worry about not getting them done properly before I travel later this winter.

    Reply
  18. Putting all that crap into my body doesn’t seem necessary unless I’m going somewhere with a horrible outbreak going on or if it’s a high risk area. I have a badass immune system, my parents never vaccinated me. I’ve never been hospitalized, never had any medical problems or even bone breaks. In my opinion, that is my best ally. My immune system. And if I destroy it with vaccinations that aren’t even 100% effective, then that leaves me more open to some kind of strange disease than anything. I’d prefer to travel and rely on clean practices my immune system than rely on some heavy metal and chemical-filled poison being shot directly into my veins. The story you told is classic, doctors are sales people. I’be experienced a lot more doctors trying to tote and defend their programming than actually make people better. They go to school to learn how to administer a product, which is pharmaceuticals. Any lifestyle that doesn’t require pharmaceuticals is against their schooling. It’s as simple as that.

    Reply
    • Onthe contrary… vaccines sort of “exercise” your immune system. They don’t hurt it. I travel a lot in the south Asian tropics and live part of the year there. I’ve been vaccinated against just about everything …with no ill effects except a bit of a sore arm for a few days after my D-TAP shot… A bit of a sore arm for couple of days or so is perfectly normal for the Tetanus portion of that shot.
      You worry about heavy metals? You probably get more heavy metals in a tin of Tuna and by eating vegetables than you do in any vaccination shot.
      The higher levels of heavy metals in some vaccine years ago has been done away with.. Most now don’t have them. The extremely small microscopic trace amount in a few vaccines today would never effect you.
      Methylmercury is the type of mercury found in certain kinds of fish, like Tuna… and is very bad and takes a long time to be passed out of the body.
      There are two types of mercury to which people may be exposed in the environment— Methylmercury and Ethylmercury — and they are very different.
      Thimerosal, which prevents growth of bacteria and fungi in vaccines contains very, very small mounts of ethylmercury, which is cleared from the human body much more quickly than methylmercury, and extremely unlikely to cause any harm.
      Helps to be educated. The Anti-Vaccine crowd make about as much sense to me as the Flat-Earth Society and the people who think the moon landings were filmed in Arizona or a Hollywood basement studio.

      Reply
  19. Hey!
    I had quite an adventure in Indonesia. Stray cats and un-vaccinated tourist included!
    I am still alive, so we can say that story ends happily. But believe me – the stress was real. We could avoid it all by getting vaccines before flying there,

    Please, visit my blog to read the whole thriller story ?

    Reply
  20. This is probably a cultural thing but I would only consider the free vaccines ?. In Britain, these are Hep A, typhoid and polio, I think. It doesn’t seem worth paying for something that is highly unlikely to affect me anyway.

    Reply
  21. I like the tip that you gave to ask your healthcare provider about which immunizations you should get before you go on a trip outside of the country. My wife and I are talking about going on a trip to Brazil, and it is important for us to know that we will stay safe from potential diseases. If we do go on the trip, I will be sure to ask my healthcare provider about which vaccinations will be beneficial.

    Reply
  22. My husband and I are going to Taiwan so that we can explore and enjoy time together without any distractions. I really appreciate your information that we will both require a booster on our immunizations before we leave as well as get a travel vaccine for typhoid fever or cholera. We will start looking into the immunizations that will be required and find a pharmacy that offers them.

    Reply
  23. It’s good to know more about travel vaccines. Like you said, there are a ton of stories, opinions, and new on this subject. So, I appreciate the information you have here, especially because we’ll be traveling soon.

    Reply
  24. Diseases will always be around. Vaccines don’t cure diseases. Vaccines also have many side effects including autism, diabetes, paralysis, tumors and a host of other side effects. If you travel abroad of course your risks to diseases is higher. But in the USA diseases are not making a comeback. In poor countries yes but the reason is not vaccines but poor sanitation. Diseases are controlled with clean sanitation, proper nutrition and common sense like washing your hands before eating. The USA doesn’t have many issues with diseases like poor countries because we have access to clean water, clean sanitation and good nutrition. Look at the Amish, they don’t vaccinate and they are doing just fine because they have clean sanitation. That’s the key. Even before modern vaccines existed, Major diseases were being controlled in the USA due to clean sanitation. You can go back to the 1940’s before most of these modern vaccines existed and you will see major diseases in the USA already decreased greatly. The pharmaceuticals just want the credit to go to their products (with High side effects) so they can keep making billions. It’s all about the money not safety

    Reply
  25. Maybe I missing something here but at this day and age the government is imposing mandates in the US for children and some adults (work and school) to get vaccinated. Why is it ok to travel without them? Can you bring those disease back here and expose us? I say this and may sound as if I’m pro vaccine but vaccines ruined my life. By the way for nothing because I had the measels, mumps, chicken pox and much worse. I’m enraged though if the government is making all children get the crap but allow adults (who can defend themselves) have a choice. Our children are being used and abused in my opinion (my body is enough proof for me)!!!

    Reply
  26. I had no idea there were three categories of vaccines. I have gotten my routine vaccines when I was little. I remember talking about it with my friends when we got ours. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten any vaccines outside of those though. Maybe I should look into getting other vaccines, just in case I want to travel.

    Reply
  27. My daughters have a friend who has decided to have her wedding in Bali, Indonesia which recommends several vaccines. They have been asked to be bridesmaids in the wedding. The problem is: both daughters had reactions as young children and our pediatrician strongly recommended no more vaccines. One daughter went into seizures (stayed in ER for 3 days) and soon after developed asthma. They really want to go. Unfortunately our family does not do well with vaccines. My mother took shots for Tahiti and shortly after developed Rheumatoid Arthritis. I took shots before an Egypt trip and ended up with Hashimotos Thyroiditis and cancer within 2 years. Question: do the girls have to take the Bali vaccines if they are listed as recommended? Will they have access problems getting in and out? Thank you ??

    Reply
    • Hi Vien,
      It depends on where you are coming to Bali from, but for the most part, no vaccines are necessary in order to enter Indonesia.
      Have a great trip!

      Reply
  28. Really great post. We should be now very careful and keep safe. I am neither against nor for vaccination but nowadays do we have any choices? Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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