Diana polekhina r6u fhltche unsplash scaled e1685351675540

Vaccination before going abroad

Vaccination has preserved millions of lives and prevented hundreds of millions of cases of infection. Vaccination allows individuals to immunize against certain diseases but also protects individuals who cannot receive certain vaccinations because of their state of health, or individuals who do not respond to certain vaccinations, by reducing the risk of contamination. In a broader view, it protects future generations from epidemics that have ravaged the last decades, and contributes to the eradication of certain pathologies in human reservoirs, such as smallpox (eradicated since 1979), polio and hepatitis B, for example.

To preserve their health and the health of their communities, it is significant that travelers protect themselves from diseases that have disappeared in their countries of origin but persist in other countries because they have not been able to develop natural immunity against them.

Vaccination is one of these preventive measures which is why travelers are advised to consult before departure to ensure that they are up-to-date with the usual vaccination regimens and to carry out certain so-called travel vaccinations in relation to the countries visited; and the conditions of stay.

This is called “basic” vaccination: compulsory or strongly recommended, they are generally entered in everyone’s health book.

Among them are the vaccines against the following diseases:

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio (DTP),
  • Tuberculosis (BCG),
  • Japanese encephalitis (vaccination to practice for stays at risk or expatriation in certain countries of Asia or Oceania),
  • tick-borne encephalitis (for stays in rural or wooded areas of central, eastern and northern Europe, from northern Asia Central, Japan and China),
  • Typhoid fever (for long stays or in poor conditions in countries where hygiene is precarious; the vaccine is particularly recommended in the Indian subcontinent),
  • Invasive infections meningococci (according to the news in epidemic zones),

Vaccinations that are not necessarily  given in the European Union (check your health records):

  • Hepatitis A (countries where hygiene is precarious, whatever the conditions of your stay),
  • Hepatitis B (frequent and prolonged stays in the countries with a high or medium prevalence of this virus),
  • Seasonal influenza/flu (strongly recommended for groups with risks: chronically ill, seniors participating in a group trip or a cruise).
  • Yellow fever (YF vaccination or practicing for a stay in tropical areas of Africa and South America,

The yellow fever vaccine is the only vaccine required under international health regulations (which bind 196 countries to limit the spread of public health risks). 

Some African countries impose it as a condition of entry into their territory (even if the traveler only transits through an airport). If you are vaccinated against yellow fever, you will receive an international vaccination certificate. It is valid for 10 years.

According to health, age and activities planned by travelers, other vaccines must be carried out. Given the incubation times of the vaccines, it is strongly advised to prepare several weeks in advance in order to plan a vaccination program, especially in the context of an update. As the elderly and infants are people with fragile health, vaccines are all the more important in order not to take any risks.

Vaccination allows individuals to immunize against certain diseases but also protects individuals who cannot receive certain vaccinations because of their state of health, or individuals who do not respond to certain vaccinations, reducing the risk of contamination.

What health precautions should be taken before going abroad?

Before going abroad there are some precautions to take like getting vaccinated during a check-up at your doctor for a start. Since the elderly and infants are frail people, vaccines are for them really important especially before going abroad.

It’s really important to not take any risks, certain countries outside of Europe don’t have the same health care stage as ours that is why you need sometimes to get vaccinated against diseases that do not exist in Europe anymore for several decades. 

Vaccination allows you to avoid certain serious diseases that plague abroad and to protect the local and you and your country from epidemic risks. Before your departure, you must inform yourself and check the vaccines useful for your trip.

The actual risks can depend on your state of health, the health situation of the country visited, the conditions and the duration of your stay.

Before any departure abroad, you must educate yourself, on the risk of illness in the country or countries of your trip, and on the precautions and treatments to be taken to avoid getting sick on the spot or on your return. Ask your doctor for advice to make sure that the advice given is appropriate for your particular situation. There is no calendar for the administration of vaccines common to all travelers. Each calendar must be personalized and depends on the traveler (age, state of health, vaccination history, frequency and nature of the trips …).

Inform yourself sufficiently early before your departure (between 1 and 2 months before in case of vaccination). The plan for a trip is an opportunity to take stock of compulsory and recommended vaccinations. If you are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, you should be offered these vaccinations, in addition to those necessary for your trip.

For the price in most cases the vaccine itself costs less than 100 euros in most of the countries in Europe but thanks to your health insurance which covers at least 50% for it or your work insurance.

Here are some examples, based on an injection:

  • Measles-Rubella Mumps (MMR): € 25                                    Hepatitis B: € 26.
  • Influenza( the flu): € 8                                                                 Typhoid: € 32.
  • Diphtheria Tetanus Poliomyelitis DT Polio: 19 €                   Yellow fever: € 38.
  • Tuberculosis: 30 €                                                                        Japanese encephalitis 98€ 

According to the “World Health Organization”, with the exception of drinking water, no measure, including antibiotics, has had as great an effect as vaccination on mortality and the growth of the world’s population. That is why the state insists on being up to date in its vaccines, not only for traveling but also for everyday life as well as for fighting common diseases such as the flu. Now you have all the information you need to know before going abroad to live in another country or just if you want to travel. Don’t hesitate to inform you!