Amidst the detailed planning and preparation that goes into any overseas work trip, it’s important to also take time to ensure you’re protecting your health and wellbeing. Vaccinations are an essential part of this—but often one that can be overlooked until the last minute. To make sure you don’t fall into the trap we’ve developed a list of key things to know before you go.
Research, research, research
For any overseas trip, work or personal, you should always do some research before taking off. For some countries proof that you have had specific vaccinations may be an entry requirement– and without this you may be refused entry or required to have the vaccination at the border.
To avoid this type of hassle and stress, you should speak to your GP or medical professional to make sure you are up-to-date with routine vaccinations such as measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, polio, influenza and pneumococcal. In some cases, even if you have been previously vaccinated as a child you may need booster doses to make sure you still have immunity to these diseases. Some diseases are endemic (always present) in certain areas/countries so the need for vaccinations for these places is routine. Other diseases come and go and this is why the vaccination requirements can vary country to country, season to season, year to year—and that’s why it’s important to double check even if you’re visiting a place you have been to before.
Book your vaccination appointment well in advance
If you need vaccinations, it’s recommended to have them at least 6-8 weeks before departure—so don’t leave booking your appointment until the last minute. This allows time for the vaccination to take its full effect and for your body to be protected. Once you’ve had your vaccinations, remember to document the details and carry a copy with you when you travel.
Take extra precautions
Not all illnesses can be prevented through vaccination and you may need to take other measures to protect your health. There are some diseases – like Malaria – that don’t have a vaccination but do have preventative medications. Be sure to ask a medical professional before heading to an affected area and take measures to avoid being bitten.
For more information
Your best point of call is your medical professional, but for more information on what vaccinations are required where and when, visit the World Health Organization website (http://www.who.int/ith/vaccines/en/).
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