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Vaccinations for a World Trip | Everything you need to know

A world trip normally requires a lot of preparation, let alone now during and / or after corona. It starts with making a step-by-step plan and setting a clear goal to save for a world trip† And yes, in addition to your covid-19 vaccinations, you also need other vaccinations for a world trip. You may not need them all, but some are important before moving into an environment that is very different from what your body is used to. Regardless of the country, I have always made sure to have vaccinations up to date. Think of it as an investment in the future. Most vaccinations are still effective long after your trip around the world.

Make an appointment

We also strongly advise anyone who travels to a country or area where Malaria or another annoying disease may prevent that you should not jump to conclusions from this or other articles. Always make an appointment with one of the specialists at Vaccinations While Traveling or the GGD. The information they have is always up-to-date and that is why they can advise you specifically based on the specific travel plans you have.

We can also absolutely recommend taking the 'optional' one, since you don't want to be tied to certain places or countries during your world trip. It often happens that your plans change along the way, and for that you definitely want to be well prepared in terms of vaccinations.

Which vaccinations for a world trip?

The list below with the most important vaccinations for a world trip is sorted in alphabetical order.

Vaccinations for your world trip
Vaccinations for your world trip

Also read: The world of insects: Know what bit you!

BCG / TB

If you are vaccinated against BCG, you are protected against tuberculosis (TB).

  • What is Tuberculosis?
    Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the tubercle bacterium. You can catch it if an infected person coughs and releases bacteria. If you are infected you can get TB after 8 weeks or even years later. The symptoms are fatigue, listlessness, weight loss, increased temperature and sweating at night.
  • For which countries?
    The vaccine is not compulsory in any country. TB mainly occurs in Africa, Asia en South America† The vaccination is only sometimes recommended for small children, or for people who stay in a risk area for more than 3 months and who have intensive contact with the local population.
  • How long protected against TB?
    A BCG vaccine protects you against TB for life.

BMR 

If you are vaccinated with the MMR vaccine you are protected against mumps, measles and rubella. When you travel, you are mainly vaccinated so that you do not get measles.

  • What is BMR?
    The MMR vaccine is a collective name for Mumps, Measles and Rubella. Measles mainly affects children. The disease starts with a cold, cough, red eyes and fever. After a few days you will also get spots on your face, later all over your body. The spots turn brown and may itch. Getting a serious pneumonia or ear infection is also something that sometimes happens.
  • For which countries?
    The vaccine is recommended for Africa and most countries in South East Asia. In Europe is the vaccine recommended for travel to Ukraine and Romania.
  • How long protected against MMR?
    After a vaccination you are protected for life. Did you have all vaccinations as a child? Then you have already been vaccinated against MMR and this vaccine is no longer necessary for your trip.

Typhoid 

The typhoid fever vaccine protects you against the infectious disease typhoid fever. 35 to 70% of people who take the typhoid fever vaccine build up protection against typhoid fever. So the protection is limited. You can also choose to take capsules instead of a vaccination.

  • What is typhoid fever?
    The infectious disease typhoid fever is caused by the salmonella bacteria and occurs in many tropical countries. The bacteria is transmitted through poor hygiene. Symptoms include a high fever, abdominal pain, headache, and being generally ill. Sometimes there is diarrhea and sometimes constipation. Typhoid fever develops about one to two weeks after infection.
  • For which countries?
    Typhoid fever is not compulsory in any country. The vaccine is therefore especially recommended if you stay in a high-risk area for a longer period of time. The disease occurs in Africa, Middle- and South America en Asia† If there is a high risk in a country, the vaccine is already recommended for stays of longer than two weeks. If the risk is slightly less, it is recommended for a trip of longer than three months. The risk is high in some countries in Asia, including in India en Nepal, .
  • How long will you be protected? 
    After 1 vaccination you are protected against typhoid fever for 3 years. Keep in mind that the protection is limited. If you go for the capsules, you are protected against typhoid fever for 1 year.

A Cholera stamp is required when traveling to Angola, Madagascar or Zanzibar (Tanzania† Talk to your doctor about this.

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Covid-19

I don't think I need to explain to anyone what Covid-19 is anymore. It is important to know that many countries require a covid-19 vaccination certificate before you can enter the country and often (halfway through 2021) a PCR test is added. This is especially true in African and Asian countries. A vaccination alone is often not enough, so keep that in mind.

DTP

DTP stands for Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio, the DTP vaccine protects you against these 3 infectious diseases. Tetanus is the most important for travelers.

  • What is DTP?
    DTP stands for Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio. The DTP vaccine protects you against three different infectious diseases. Diphtheria is a disease caused by a bacteria. It is transmitted by coughing. Symptoms include fever, sore throat and drowsiness. In some cases it is so severe that membranes form in your throat and you can choke. Tetanus is caused by a bacterium that is mainly found in soil and street dirt. Without treatment, Tetanus is fatal. Symptoms include stiffness near the infected sores and muscle cramps. The bacterium is found in all countries, including the Netherlands. Polio is a virus, this virus can end up in the sewer through the faeces, so that it can also end up in drinking water.
  • For which countries?
    The DTP vaccine is really recommended for almost every country. Only in Western Europe, North America, New Zealand en Australië a DTP vaccination is not necessary. That also means that you already need a DTP vaccination for many trips within Europe! In some countries, the DTP vaccine is mandatory.
  • How long protected?
    After 1 vaccination you are protected for 10 years against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio. You often had this vaccine as a child. Make sure you have this vaccination in order for your world trip, maybe it's time again?
Vaccinations and face masks when traveling
Vaccinations and face masks when traveling

FSME – Tick encephalitis

The FSME vaccine protects you against a virus that can cause inflammation in the brain.

  • What is FSME?
    FSME or tick encephalitis is a virus that is transmitted by ticks. The ticks are found in wooded areas and in tall grass. From April to November, the chance of getting a tick bite is highest. Raw milk from cows, goats or sheep can also transmit the virus. After one to three weeks you will get flu-like symptoms and sometimes it can turn into meningitis or meningitis.
  • For which countries?
    The vaccine is not compulsory in any country. It is recommended if you are going to a risk area for more than a month. Tick ​​encephalitis occurs in Europe, Russia and in large parts of Asia† Also in for example France of Italy so can you get this!
  • How long protected?
    For complete protection you need three vaccinations. After these three vaccinations you are protected for at least 3 years. The second vaccine usually follows four weeks after the first, the third vaccine after six to thirteen months.
A tick can cause FSME
A tick can cause FSME

Yellow fever 

The Yellow Fever vaccine protects you against the rare but serious infectious disease yellow fever.

  • What is Yellow Fever?
    Yellow fever is a fever transmitted by mosquitoes. The mosquitoes bite during the day. Three to six days after the mosquito bite you will develop a fever, muscle aches, headache, chills, nausea and vomiting. In some cases it becomes more serious, people can even die from yellow fever.
  • For which countries?
    Yellow fever occurs in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and Panama. In many countries the yellow fever vaccine is recommended, but in some countries in Africa it is mandatory. In countries where the vaccine is mandatory, you must be able to demonstrate that you have been vaccinated at least ten days before your trip. Countries where the vaccine is mandatory are; Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo.
  • How long protected?
    After 1 vaccination you are protected for life against the yellow fever virus.  

Hepatitis A 

The Hepatitis A vaccine protects you against the infectious disease Hepatitus A, also known as contagious jaundice. In 2020, it is almost a standard vaccination for world travelers, because it occurs all over the world outside Western countries.

  • What is Hepatitis A?
    Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. The disease is transmitted through poor hygiene. Hepatitis A is rare, if at all, in western countries, so we have not produced any antibodies for it. If you have hepatitis A, you will get flu symptoms after about a month and you will feel sick. You have to stay in bed, get a headache and your appetite is gone. You also get pain in the liver area and sometimes this is followed by jaundice after a few days. You can be fatigued for months from hepatitis A. People who are 50+ even have a very small chance of dying from hepatitis A.   
  • For which countries?
    The hepatitis A vaccine is not required in any country. However, the vaccine is recommended in many countries. Only in Western Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia is the vaccine not recommended. In Africa, Middle- and South America, the Far and Middle East you are most likely to contract hepatitis A.
  • How long protected?
    After the first vaccine you are protected for 1 year. If you have yourself vaccinated again after six months, you are protected for more than 30 years.
A Hepatitis A vaccination for your world trip
A Hepatitis A vaccination for your world trip

Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B vaccine protects you against the infectious disease hepatitis B, a serious infectious disease of the liver.

  • What is Hepatitis B?
    You can contract hepatitis B from sexual contact and through blood. Sometimes the disease becomes chronic and in extreme cases it can lead to liver cancer. The symptoms are very similar to those of the flu, but you also have muscle and joint pain and may be accompanied by jaundice. Lower abdominal pain can also be a symptom of hepatitis B.
  • For which countries?
    The hepatitis B vaccine is not mandatory in any country, but it is mandatory for some professions. However, this vaccination is sometimes recommended for travelers. This is especially true if you are staying in a risk area for a longer period of time (more than three months). Hepatitis B occurs in South America, a large part of Africa and in parts of Asia† Also in Russia and the Middle East Hepatitis B poses a health risk, but it occurs in lesser degrees. As a traveler, you only need Hepatitis B for a trip of longer than three months.
  • How long protected?
    After 3 vaccinations you are protected for life against hepatitis B. The second vaccine for hepatitis B follows about a month after the first. The third vaccine about five months after the first. So start getting vaccinations on time if you need hepatitis B.

Do you need a vaccine against Hepatitis-A and Hepatitis-B? Then take a combination vaccine to save money

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Japanese encephalitis

The Japanese encephalitis vaccination protects you against the flavivirus that can cause inflammation of the brain. It is one of the less common vaccinations for a world trip, but if you end up in risk areas, it is absolutely recommended.

  • What is Japanese Encephalitis?
    The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. Most people who are infected do not notice this. Symptoms you may have are fever, headache, loss of strength, behavioral changes and convulsions.
  • For which countries?
    The vaccine is not compulsory in any country. It is especially recommended if you are staying in the countryside for a longer period (at least 1 month) in a risk area. The risk areas are China, India, Pakistan, South East Asia and small parts of Russia en Australië.
  • How long protected?
    After two injections you are protected for one year. If you are vaccinated again afterwards, you are protected for 3 years. You get the second injection four weeks after the first.

Meningitis

The vaccine protects you against meningitis, a meningitis.

  • What is Meningitis?
    Symptoms of meningitis include high fever, chills, skin color change, headache, confusion, stiff neck, and vomiting.  
  • For which countries?
    The vaccine is mandatory when traveling to Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, it occurs in Mongolia and parts of Africa.
  • How long protected?
    After a vaccination you are protected for three or five years, I read varying things on the internet.

rabies 

The rabies vaccine protects you against the deadly disease rabies, better known as rabies. It is a sensible vaccination for a trip around the world, but it is quite expensive because you have to go back several times.

  • What is Rabies?
    Rabies is transmitted by dogs, bats, monkeys and foxes. You can get it from the bites of these animals, but also from licking or scratching. Even if you plan to stay away from these animals, you can be attacked and you run the risk of infection. You do not get the disease until about 1 or 2 months after being infected. You can get cramps and be overactive, but you can also get paralysis that gets worse and worse. In the beginning you will suffer from fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and headache. Later you get cramps or paralysis, neck stiffness, hyperactivity and convulsions. Eventually you fall into a coma which leads to death. You will not survive rabies. If you are bitten or scratched, you should always act immediately. You never know if an animal is infected with Rabies, but you can't take any chances. If you have not had a vaccination, you must have the antiserum within 24 hours. That one sweet monkey could just kill you.
Monkeys and Rabies - Vaccinations around the world
Monkeys and Rabies – Vaccinations around the world
  • For which countries?
    Rabies vaccination is not compulsory in any country. However, the vaccine is recommended if you are staying in a risk area for more than a month. Rabies occurs in Africa, EasternEurope, Asia en in South- and Central America† In Saudi Arabia and Argentina also occurs, but to a lesser extent.
  • How long protected? 
    You need 3x a rabies vaccine. You have the second vaccine exactly one week after the first, the third vaccine two to three weeks after your second shot. After 3 vaccines you will no longer need the antiserum for the rest of your life. In addition, after a bite, you still have to get 2 vaccinations on site. These are easily available everywhere. Don't have the vaccine? Then you need the antiserum within 24 hours, this is not always easy to get. You also need five more vaccinations. The rabies vaccine is not reimbursed by most insurance companies and is very expensive. Think carefully about whether you want to save on something if you health.

When to take vaccinations

It is best to take the first vaccinations before your trip around the world as early as possible. It is recommended that you take your vaccinations 7 months before departure. Especially if you need hepatitis B, you would do well to leave at least six months between the vaccination and departure.

Bring your vaccination booklet (passport) with you

Create Vaccinations while Traveling or the GGD to provide your vaccination booklet, also known as a vaccination passport, with the latest stamps. Have you lost your booklet? Then ask for a new one and make sure that all vaccinations you have had before (for example, in your youth) are included.

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