Getting travel vaccines is a necessary part of your African experience. There are several ways to find providers of your vaccines, but these are generally not something that the neighborhood physician has on hand. Travel vaccines are tropical medicines – a specialty of their own.
Where To Get Shots
Depending upon where you live, you may have several choices of places to get your vaccines.
TAW recommends going to your county health services office (health department). They will offer you the least expensive, and usually, the most updated version of the required vaccines.
Another option is going to a private travel clinic. Click here to use a directory of private travel clinics. Just enter your country and state to see what’s available in your area.
Finally, you can call your local physician and ask her if she can obtain all the vaccines you need, or where she recommends you go.
Don’t Wait ‘Till the Last Minute!
Some of the vaccines you need may have to be ordered, others come in a series (more than one shot), and still others can’t be taken together.
Keeping this in mind, you need to start this process early. Do your own research (below) on which shots are required and which are recommended. Compare recommendations to what the health provider tells you about your likelihood of infection based on factors such as your type of excursion, what type of terrain/environment you will be in, your length of stay, and your previous vaccine history.
What Kind of Shots Do I Need?
Most of the common shots/boosters for travel in Africa are listed below.
- Hepatitis A or Immune Globulin (IG)
- Hepatitis B
- Meningococcal Disease
- Typhoid Fever
- Tetanus and Diphtheria
- Yellow Fever
The Center for Disease Control is your best reference for current, in-depth information on the vaccines you need. Click here to see their recommendations by country and specific information on each vaccine they recommend.
Discuss and compare these findings with your vaccine provider to determine exactly which shots are correct for your circumstances.
When you’ve received all your vaccines you’ll be given a bright yellow “WHO (World Health Organization) Card” with all your vaccines and dates stamped in it. Yea! Something to show for all your pain and suffering!
What do you do with the card? Make a copy or two. Keep the original with your passport and take the copies with you in your “secret copy packet/s”