Traveling long distances can be the most fulfilling activity, provided we manage to stay absolutely healthy during the trip. Generally, international travel requires travelers to be immunized against certain diseases, which they may acquire on traveling to a particular country. In many countries, it is also mandatory to have a valid vaccination certificate to be presented immediately on landing, before an individual can be let into the country. This Buzzle article will shed light on the various vaccinations you would need to take before traveling to Europe.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American citizens do not need to take any sort of special vaccination before going to Europe. Nevertheless, the CDC still recommends that all kinds of travelers are completely up-to-date on their routine vaccinations as well as their medical checkups. Following are some of the basic immunizations, which your Europe tour may demand.
► First and foremost, there are certain basic vaccinations, each traveler needs to be up-to-date with, irrespective of where and when he/she is traveling. There include those for polio, tetanus (might be given along with diphtheria), measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), and influenza.
► Hepatitis A is a disease that can be transmitted through contaminated water and food. It is generally recommended to be immunized against this disease, irrespective of where in Europe you are heading to.
► Hepatitis B is a viral disease, which can be caused by various factors such as the use of contaminated medical instruments, unprotected sex, getting a tattoo done, etc. While many European countries may not compulsorily require this vaccination, it is still recommended by the CDC for travelers' personal safety.
► Instances of rabies have been reported, especially in Western Europe, and it is mandatory there for all the travelers to have a valid rabies vaccination certificate. This potentially serious disease is transmitted when a person is scratched or bitten by an infected animal. It can be transmitted through infected cats, dogs, and bats.
► Albania requires all travelers coming from countries with high instances of yellow fever to have a valid certificate of immunization against the same. However, Albania itself does not have a risk of yellow fever.
► The BCG vaccine, which imparts immunity against the risk of tuberculosis, is mandatory in numerous European countries. For example, in the United Kingdom, it is mandatory to have a BCG vaccine certificate for travelers arriving from Asian and African countries.
► Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral infection that spreads through infected tick bites. If you are traveling to Central or Western Europe, it is recommended that you take this vaccination, especially if you intend to stay in or near rural or forested regions for an extended span of time.
► Though the various immunizations are vital for your Europe travel, it must be kept in mind that they might not be suitable for everyone (babies, pregnant women, etc.). Therefore, it is best to consult a specialist before you go for them.
► It also needs to be noted that it is best to stay away from taking certain vaccines if you are immunocompromised in certain ways.
► It is also advisable that you speak to your regular physician, who will be able to tell you whether you may have allergies or side effects to certain vaccines.
Generally, depending on the country that you intend to travel to, your travel agent and/or your doctor may be able to help you with the kind of vaccinations you may need. It is a good idea to have a documented evidence of your vaccination records so that you do not have to go through tedious medical checks after you alight on the airport. You can get these shots from your local physician, or check with your local health department for the same.
Disclaimer: This article is purely for informative and educational purposes. Please seek the advice of a registered medical practitioner before you get vaccinated.