“What shots do I need?” is one of the first questions that come to mind when one prepares for his or her trip. It is advisable that you book an appointment with your healthcare provider or travel medicine specialist to get advices on what types of injections you already have and will need. Following are a few recommendations.
Tetanus/ Diphtheria/ Measles
It is most likely that you already have this shot. It’s worth checking, however, to see whether you need an update. Normally, boosters to prevent these diseases are given every 10 years whether you travel or not. Most are given for free or included in your insurance plan. In Vietnam, anti-tetanus; diphtheria and measles shots are compulsory for newborn babies and there are few chances for pandemic.
A disease caused by Salmonella typhi, typhoid usually leads to fever, headaches and abdominal pains or more severe symptoms. Typhoid vaccination can be taken orally or by injection, each with special precaution with regard to pregnant women or young children. The best way to prevent typhoid is pay attention to your food and drink while travelling, which are the two common ways that transmit the diseases.
You might get the advice to have rabies pre-exposure vaccination with 3 shots over 30 days. Unless your insurance pay for it all, do not bother since the shot is unbelievably expensive. It is easy to avoid contact with running dogs on the street (and it is extremely rare to find dogs in tourist areas).
Japanese Encephalitis is a viral infection of the brain with high incidence among young children or elderly. Vietnam is in the infectious region and the disease is transmitted by mosquitoes in wet unclean conditions (such as rice fields or piggery in rural areas).