Vaccinations are effective means to protect yourself against numerous awful infections. Cholera, diphteria, tick-borne meningoencephalitis, yellow fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, meningococcal meningitis, pneumococces, rabies, tubercolosis, thyphoid. Quite a long but not a complete list which brings you to the scratch.

Everybody, no matter if staying at home or travelling, should be vaccinated against polio, tetanus and diphteria. If you are a outdoor freak ranging woods and meadows you should also be vaccinated against meningoencephalitis, a disease transmitted by ticks all over the world. Most physicians even recommend a hepatitis-A-vaccination. These are the standards for our latitudes. Visiting foreign countries you have to consider a lot more. Please consult a specialized physician, a pharmacy or, even better, a tropical institute or travel clinic to find out the required vaccinations for your destination. Of course not even these institutions are entirely unselfish or faultless. Thus my personal recommendation is: let yourself vaccinate against everything mandatory or recommended for your planned trip anyhow. But try to obtain informations from several institutions, because a disparity of opinions concerning advisable vaccinations is not quite unusual.

Regulations and recommendations are certainly non-exaggerated and include standard vaccinations (see above) as well as some additional ones. A good example for the latter is the yellow fever immunization, which is mandatory for some african countries and sometimes has to be proofed on arrival. Normally it will be well-tolerated - and it is more than advisable, because yellow fever is dangerous, common and widespread in the tropical regions of Africa. Furthermore you should be vaccinated against hepatitis (A and B, available as combination vacc.) and typhoid. The typhus vaccine has been improved a few years ago. In the past you had to take a capsule which offered protection for one year. Now you get a shot with an immunization of 3 years, which is much more comfortable and cheaper.

A few words of warning concerning cholera vaccination, which unfortunately is still mandatory for some countries, although evidence is to be provided only by random samples. This vaccination allegedly offers only little protective effect (20-60%). In the case of visiting a country demanding such a cholera proof (even though this is offending international law), try to find out the actual necessity. If it turns out to be a sole chicane, try to obtain a piece of evidence, stamped a thousand times and signed by several people and file it in your international vaccination certificate. Do not fill in the original certificate, that's falsification of documents! If you create this fake yourself make sure that it looks extraordinary official (the vaccines are called Orochol resp. Dukoral, by the way).

I myself have solved the problem exactly that way and never did have any problems, I swear. Entering such a country without adequate proof, you could have tough luck in being controlled and getting refused entry. Insisting on entry, you may be constrained to a pricy vaccination. Since cholera preparations are living vaccines there is a risk of total inefficacy due to wrong storage. However you shouldn't fail to contact a specialist in the first place.

My advice: Obey the regulations and do everything that makes you feel safe, but don't miss to inquire insistently ahead. For further informations please read the following sites:


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