Holiday vaccinations and immunisations in Queensland
Are you a Queenslander with big holiday plans on the horizon? Something you may not have considered is your travel vaccinations. When you’re travelling to different parts of the world, it’s important to be immunised for the various foreign diseases that you may encounter.
Travel vaccinations are a critical line of defence against the illnesses and diseases that can occur in foreign locales. The Australian Government Department of Health strongly recommends that all Australians travelling overseas are fully vaccinated against potential diseases that they may encounter in their destinations.
Travel vaccinations: Things to consider
There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when getting your travel vaccinations. You’ll have to have some information ready for your doctor, such as your departure date and a list of existing medications. There are a few other things you will need to consider, such as:
- Where you plan on travelling
- The time of year you plan on travelling
- Your age
- Previous vaccinations
- Any known medical conditions
- Whether you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant
Diseases you may be vaccinated against
There are countless diseases that you may require vaccination against, depending on where and when you are travelling. Typhoid, rabies, cholera, encephalitis and malaria are among diseases that are commonly included in standard travel vaccinations. Many of these diseases have been eradicated entirely in Australia, so your first time being vaccinated against them may be when you receive your travel vaccinations. A list of the most commonly vaccinated-against diseases is below:
- Japanese encephalitis
- Meningococcal disease
- Hepatitis A and B
When to get your travel vaccinations
Most medical services strongly recommend that you get your travel vaccinations at least six weeks prior to travel, and sometimes 12 weeks prior. The lead time you require for your vaccines to be effective will depend entirely on the specific vaccines you need. Some vaccines require several doses with time in between. Some may need to give your body some time to develop immunity to the disease that you’re being vaccinated against.
It’s best to speak with your doctor to get a clear idea of what vaccinations you’ll need. The Doctors strongly recommend that you consult with a general practitioner at least four months out from your date of departure so that you can plan adequately to have all your vaccinations taken care of well in advance of travelling.
Consider the national interest
Travel vaccinations are serious business. Every day around the world, people die from disease that are preventable with simple vaccinations. There are rampant epidemics in many parts of the world on a regular basis, and the threat of known diseases causing serious harm to Australians both abroad and domestically is ever-present.
Who are travel vaccinations most important for?
Travel vaccinations aren’t important just for your own protection. Many people cannot be vaccinated against disease. Pregnant woman, very young people or the elderly may not be able to receive vaccinations. By getting vaccinated yourself, you can reduce the risk of spreading diseases to vulnerable people around you. This is particularly important if you have young people in your family that you will be in close proximity with on your return from travelling abroad.
Side effects of travel vaccinations
Side effects from travel vaccinations are quite common and fairly mild. If you do experience side effects, they should dissipate on their own within a few days. If they don’t, speak with your GP. Some common side effects include:
- Muscular pain
- Joint pain
- Mild fever
Help your travel vaccinations do their job
While travelling, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of exposure to foreign diseases. Your travel vaccinations will do an excellent job of preventing exposure to some specific diseases. However, you should also act to limit your exposure to anything you may not be vaccinated against.
- Wash your hands regularly with clean water and antibacterial soap.
- Drink clean, bottled water only.
- Wear insect repellent.
- Plan your itinerary during times of the year when disease vectors (such as mosquitoes) are less active.
Book an appointment now
Want to learn more? Book a travel vaccinations appointment now and the Doctors will guide you through the process of the specific vaccinations you need and get them administered. The travel vaccination appointments are structured to ensure you have all the information you need to make an adequately informed decision about the types of vaccinations that you need for your own health and safety and that of the people around you.