Travel Vaccine
Health & Doctors' Articles

Travel Vaccine

It is the end of the year again and you are making plans to travel to your dream destination. Be it a relaxing spa retreat in the nearby islands, an exciting outdoor adventure or a pure shopping and sightseeing trip, you will not want it to be marred by a vaccine-preventable disease.

Depending on the location of your travel and the type of activities you will be doing, different kinds of vaccines will be indicated.

It would be best to speak to your doctor early to individualize your vaccination plan.

Below are the Top 5 most indicated vaccines when travelling:

Protects against: Influenza virus.
Frequency of dosage: Once.
How long it lasts: 1 year.
How long before to take it: 2 weeks before travel.
Fun fact: Contrary to popular belief, the common “flu” is actually not caused by flu virus but by different kinds of virus e.g. rhinovirus. Influenza viral infection usually is much more serious and lasts longer than the common flu or cold.


Protects against: Varicella Virus (chickenpox)
Frequency of dosage: Twice (at least 6 weeks apart)
How long does it last: Lifetime.
How long before to take it: 2-3 months before travel.
Fun fact: Taking the chicken pox vaccine may cause chickenpox but symptoms are usually milder and the patient recovers faster with very minimal chance of serious complications as compared to acquiring it in the community.


Protects against: Hepatitis A Virus.
Frequency of dosage: Twice (6 months apart)
How long does it last: at least 10 years.
How long before to take it: 6 months before travel.
Fun fact: Hepatitis A is transmitted via contaminated water sources and undercooked seafood. It can be potentially fatal when infected.


Protects against: Salmonella Typhi.
Frequency of dosage: Once.
How long does it last: 3 years.
How long before to take it: 4 weeks before travel.
Fun fact: Typhoid fever is common in developing countries and is transmitted via contaminated food or water.


Protects against: Measles virus, mumps virus and rubella virus.
Frequency of dosage: Twice (at least 6 weeks apart)
How long does it last: Lifetime.
How long before to take it: 2-3 months before travel.
Fun fact: The once uncommon infection of measles is becoming more common in certain countries like the U.S. due to anti-vaccine campaigns and a study claiming that MMR vaccination causes autism, which has since been strongly disputed. This study has also been withdrawn from the medical journal it was published in.

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