Immunization is a crucial part of every individual’s healthcare. It is the simplest way to avoid deadly but preventable diseases in children and adults. Timely and appropriate immunization for children can save them from serious illnesses such as polio, meningitis and hepatitis. Today, with the Covid-19 pandemic still raging, the need to be safe from preventable diseases has never been so important. This is especially true for those who plan to resume travelling. Whether for work, visits back home or that long-overdue vacation, getting the appropriate vaccines to avoid the common illnesses that occur in the place you are going to can save you stress, hospital bills and, most importantly, your health and your life.
Let’s talk about the vaccines that are perhaps most crucial today: the ones protecting against Covid-19. Many companies are calling their employees back to the office, provided they have proof of being fully vaccinated. Travelling abroad also requires proof of vaccination. And because even immunization against Covid doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of contracting the disease, many countries have a requirement of a negative Covid test result as well as a quarantine period. This can make planning a trip even trickier as tests required, type (government-organized, hotel, home, etc) and time of quarantine have to all be taken into account – adding even more time, effort and money to your trip.
If you are planning a major trip this year, it is important to think about vaccinations. Getting the right jabs will not only stop you from falling ill (and spoiling your vacation!), but they’ll also stop the spread of harmful—and potentially fatal—diseases, both at home and abroad. We’ll help you plan ahead so you’re immunized and good to go.
Now’s the time to start thinking about vaccinations. This is because some jabs need to be done quite far ahead of your trip and you should account for possible appointment waiting times. Before asking your doctor for advice, you should consult iamat.org for a comprehensive list of vaccinations needed by the country.
When meeting your doctor, find out whether your existing vaccinations are up to date. Some jabs may not be available through public healthcare so you should also find out if you need to organize certain vaccinations privately.
Let’s get vaccinated! At this stage, you’ll need your first dose of the tick-borne encephalitis vaccination. If you’re travelling in Asia, a vaccination against Japanese encephalitis is also recommended. It usually consists of two injections, with the second dose given 28 days after the first.
You need to start your course of MMR vaccinations if you’re not fully immune or vaccinated already—both doses need to be 28 days apart.
If you’re travelling to a part of the world where rabies is common, now’s the time to start your three-part vaccination course.
Next up is the typhoid vaccination, as well as the second dose of immunization from tick-borne encephalitis.
A fortnight to go, and you’ll be needing your combined booster for diphtheria, polio and tetanus, as well as your hepatitis A and B vaccinations. Make sure you also get your yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days before leaving. Remember the second dose of your MMR, too. Very few travellers need to get both shots of the cholera jab, but if you are travelling to places where cholera outbreaks are likely, now is the time to get your first dose.
If you forgot about your Japanese encephalitis jab, you still have time to sort it, as long as it’s seven days before departure—the same goes for your meningococcal meningitis booster. You’ll also need the second dose of your cholera jab by this stage.
It may be possible to organize vaccinations at the last minute—but don’t leave it to chance! Follow our plan for a stress-free vaccination timetable.
If you are over 18 and haven’t already got it, it’s never too soon to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Being vaccinated is especially important when travelling as getting ill in a foreign country can be nerve-wracking, expensive and stressful at best. With Covid-19, consequences can be dire as the disease can prove serious and even fatal to a significant percentage of people.
To book your slot, go to the Co-WIN portal using the link www.cowin.gov.in and click on the “Register/Sign In yourself” tab to register first. With one mobile number, you can register up to four people. You can also register for vaccination through the Aarogya Setu App. Vaccination Centres also provide a limited number of on-spot registration slots daily. However, booking online is easier and will guarantee you a slot when you arrive at the centre.
After you have received your first dose of the vaccine, remember to rest as you may get a fever and mild side effects. Continue to social distance and wear a mask. This protocol should be followed even for those who have been fully vaccinated (two doses) as immunization does not eliminate the chances of contracting and spreading Covid completely. It does, however, cut down the risks of severe complications due to the disease, the chance of hospitalization and death.