Going to Europe: Plan Early to Get the Right Vaccinations
By Charles L Harmon
Planning on going to Europe? If so you need to be aware of any Vaccinations for Europe you might need. This is something you need to consider well before leaving. In some cases six months before you plan to leave, depending on whether you have had shots before an/or where you will be traveling.
It is very important to visit your physician and discuss your travel plans. Make sure that any health conditions you have will be manageable in the climates and countries that you will be visiting. Additionally, there may be vaccinations for Europe that you are required or recommended to get before leaving for Europe.
Talking to your physician is a necessary step in preparing for a safe trip to Europe. Another alternative is to visit a Travel Clinic. They specialize in knowing what vaccinations for Europe and other parts of the world and are kept up to date on travel conditions related to disease.
For example, I am going to Africa in about a month and the travel clinic I just went to in Loma Linda, California recommended and gave me the shots I needed for the specific countries I will be visiting. It’s unlikely my doctor would have such specific and current information.
There are three main types of vaccinations for Europe that you may get before traveling there: routine, recommended, and required. Any vaccination for Europe that you may need should be obtained from your physician four to six weeks prior to your planned trip to Europe. Some shots like Hepatitis A require a shot at least six months before you leave and also a follow-up shot six months later. This will give the vaccinations time to take effect, and provide you with more protection.
Routine vaccinations that all adults require are the Tetanus and Diphtheria vaccinations. These vaccinations should be received by all adults every ten years. If your vaccinations for Europe are not up to date or over due, you should make sure that you receive them before leaving for Europe. Children require further routine vaccinations, and should also be up to date on their shots before leaving for Europe.
Vaccinations are not normally required for travel to Europe. However, there are recommended vaccinations for Europe that your physician may deem necessary based on your health conditions and health risk assessment. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B shots may be recommended by your physician. Hepatitis A can be contracted through touch, and can be common in some areas of Europe.
Hepatitis B is transmitted through medical care, blood, and sexual encounters, and may not be necessary. If there is any chance that you may have sexual encounters with locals while in Europe, or if you have a medical condition that may force you to seek medical treatment while in Europe, it may be a good idea to discuss this vaccination option with your physician.
Another recommended vaccination may be gotten from your physician for the Avian Flu or the latest potentially dangerous strain of the flu. This is a common illness in many overseas countries, European countries included. When you speak with your doctor, you should be completely honest about your itinerary and the activities you plan to engage in.
This will help your doctor assess your health risk, and recommend any vaccinations he or she feels are necessary. Conditions and diseases could become more prevalent than in the past so do not assume that you know best and ignore or miss this very important doctor’s appointment.
When you are at your doctor’s or travel clinic, you should also obtain a list of your medications and their scientific names from your doctor. Brand names and generics may not be the same where you are traveling. In the event that your medication is lost or stolen and you need to obtain more, you may need to know the exact scientific name for the medication in order to get it replaced.
Also ask your doctor for an additional prescription that will allow you to take extra medication just in case you are delayed for any reason. Keep this additional medication as well as a copy of your medication list separate from your original list and medications. This way you will be able to get the medical attention or medications you need in case you lose your medication or lists.
Travel to Europe can be quite safe as far as diseases are concerned, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Things change and sometimes certain areas or countries have health problems that might require you to be vaccinated to be safe. You wouldn’t want to jeopardize your health for the little money it might cost to see a doctor and get any vaccinations for Europe you might need would you?
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