Vaccines are some of our most powerful defences against diseases. With one or more jabs, you can guarantee safety against harmful agents, before your body even comes into contact with them.
Because of their valuable protective benefits, immunisation against certain diseases is a fixed requirement when moving between different parts of the world.
If you are travelling from Ireland to countries outside Western Europe, North America, New Zealand, and Australia—you may need to receive a vaccination against potential health risks.
Read on to learn about the travel vaccines you need before a journey, where to get these shots, plus other essential health considerations for your next trip.
What Travel Vaccines Do I Need?
Across Ireland, children as young as two months are immunised against diseases like diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus. These vaccines build up their bodies to fight against ill health, should they come in contact with dangerous pathogens.
Already familiar with vaccines—children, young people, and adults alike can enjoy continued protection by getting immunisation against travel-related diseases.
These shots not only boost your immune system against unknown pathogens, but will also prevent the spread of disease to others upon your return home.
The following are common travel-related diseases that require vaccines:
Hepatitis A is a liver inflammation caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). In your travels, you may come into contact with this virus after drinking water or eating food contaminated with the faeces of a person infected with the HAV.
Hepatitis A can cause nausea, abdominal pain, fever, and a loss of appetite. In severe cases, this condition can also lead to acute liver failure.
Hepatitis A is common in low and middle-income countries with inadequate sanitary and hygiene practices.
If you have previously received the Hepatitis A vaccine, you may require a booster shot before your travel.
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Unlike hepatitis A, this condition is spread from contact with the blood, semen, or other bodily fluids of someone infected with HBV.
A common sign of this condition is jaundice, accompanied by low appetite, stomach pain, and fatigue. Hepatitis B symptoms can last anywhere between one to three months, while chronic cases may run longer than six months.
This condition is found in almost all corners of the world, but is commonly reported in parts of Asia, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.
Typhoid fever is a highly contagious bacterial infection. This disease is spread by eating contaminated food or drinks containing infected faeces or urine.
When an unvaccinated person begins to complain of weakness, stomach pain, cough, or diarrhoea while visiting an area with limited access to clean water—this is likely a case of typhoid.
Symptoms can last seven to ten days or longer if treatment begins late.
Rabies is a viral disease found in over 150 countries around the world. A particularly dreadful condition; symptoms can shift from mere flu and weakness, to cerebral dysfunction and hallucinations within two to ten days.
Rabies is spread through the saliva of wild and domestic animals. Less than 20 recorded humans have survived this disease, making vaccines a must-have when heading to potential danger zones.
To stay on top of health risks, vaccines, and other safety tips, it’s important to consult with an expert in these matters. A travel health doctor can give professional guidance to ensure you’re being proactive with your safety abroad.
Where to Get Vaccines in Ireland
Vaccines are a top consideration for your health abroad, but they make up only a part of your well-being while away. You should also consider food and water safety, personal hygiene, and other safeguards during the course of your journey.
MyClinic GPs provide health advice upon reviewing your travel details, and can give vaccination prescriptions against common travel-repeated diseases.
To begin, you will complete a Travel Health Assessment online for €50. Our GP will then review this assessment, and advise on suitable vaccines, anti-malarial tablets, or other protective measures like a mosquito net.
About two days after your consultation, you’re free to pick a vaccination appointment online with a participating pharmacist. Within this time, your prescription will be shared with a pharmacy of your choice, where you will receive the vaccine following payment.
Prices start from €40 and can go up to €70, depending on the shot you’ll be receiving. Learn more about your travel care here.
Safety Tips for Healthy Travel
You can plan towards a healthy and stress-free time away by adopting proper hygiene practices. The following are common tips to follow to prevent travel-related disease:
- Make a habit of washing your hands with soap and water before/after eating, or handling live animals
- Keep a hand sanitiser available if you’re away from clean water and soap
- Avoid already-prepared food, opt instead for fresh and hot meals
- Steer clear of raw seafood or cooked meat still containing juices
- Where possible, drink and brush your teeth with tap or bottled water produced in hygienic conditions