Please note that Bangkok Hospital currently does not offer COVID-19 vaccination services. However, we will keep you updated as soon as the vaccine becomes available.
Vaccinations play a crucial role in protecting travelers from serious diseases that they may encounter during their trips. Depending on your destination, you may come into contact with specific diseases. Some countries even require certain vaccines as a compulsory requirement for entry. By getting vaccinated, particularly if you are elderly or have chronic diseases, you can ensure a safe and healthy journey for yourself and prevent the spread of serious illnesses to your family and community. Additionally, it is highly recommended to undergo health check-ups before traveling.
Essential Travel Vaccines
Yellow Fever Vaccine
Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Thankfully, there is a highly effective and affordable vaccine available. A single dose of the yellow fever vaccine provides long-lasting protection against the disease. Depending on your location, a booster dose may be required every 10 years. The vaccine offers effective immunity within 10 days for 80-100% of vaccinated individuals and within 30 days for over 99% of vaccinated individuals. The International Health Regulations (IHR) strongly recommend that travelers receive the yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days before visiting endemic areas in Central Africa and South America. Certain countries may also require a yellow fever vaccination certificate. However, if there are medical reasons preventing you from receiving the vaccine, proper certification is necessary.
Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It is known to cause seasonal epidemics in temperate regions and year-round epidemics in some tropical areas. Given Thailand’s climate, it is highly recommended to receive the influenza vaccine before the rainy season begins. For travelers, it is best to get vaccinated at least 2 weeks before your trip to ensure optimal protection.
Typhoid Fever Vaccine
Although the risk of typhoid fever increases with the duration of your stay, even short visits to highly endemic countries like India, Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America can pose a risk. This vaccine is essential if you will have close contact with poor hygiene conditions, such as consuming contaminated food and water. The vaccine, administered through injection, provides approximately 70% protection against blood culture-confirmed typhoid fever. It is advised to receive the vaccine at least 1 month before traveling to endemic areas, and repeat doses may be necessary for longer stays, typically every 3 years.
Hepatitis A Vaccine
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus, which is primarily transmitted through contaminated food or water. It is closely associated with unsafe water, insufficient sanitation, poor personal hygiene, and oral-anal sex. The hepatitis A vaccine is highly recommended, especially for high-risk individuals such as patients with chronic liver disease, chefs, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs or share needles, syringes, or other drug equipment, and travelers visiting endemic countries. Inactivated hepatitis A vaccines are both safe and highly effective. Typically, a two-dose schedule is recommended, with a 6- to 12-month interval between doses.
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver and can lead to acute or chronic disease. It is highly contagious and transmitted through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. Individuals at greater risk of contracting hepatitis B include drug users, men who have sex with men, patients on hemodialysis, frequent blood transfusion recipients, and those with a family history of the infection. Hepatitis B can be prevented through safe and effective vaccines. The vaccine is administered in three doses, generally in the arm, following a 0, 1, and 6-month schedule.
Rabies is a deadly viral disease transmitted through bites or scratches from infected animals, primarily domestic dogs. Vaccination against rabies is used in two situations: pre-exposure vaccination and post-exposure prophylaxis. Pre-exposure vaccination is recommended for travelers planning to spend at least one month in areas where animals infected with the rabies virus reside. It is also recommended for individuals at high risk of exposure, such as laboratory staff, veterinarians, animal handlers, and wildlife officers. Pre-exposure rabies vaccination consists of three doses given on days 0, 7, and 21 or 28. A fourth dose is unnecessary for most travelers unless they were previously vaccinated within the last 10 years.
Meningococcal meningitis is a rare but serious bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It is transmitted through respiratory droplets or secretions. While cases of meningococcal meningitis can occur worldwide, the highest burden of the disease is found in Africa’s meningitis belt and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia actually requires proof of recent meningococcal vaccination as a visa requirement for pilgrims during the Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. It is recommended to receive a single dose of the vaccine 2-3 weeks before traveling to high-risk areas.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by consuming food or water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae bacteria. It is closely linked to poverty, poor sanitation, and inadequate clean drinking water. Cholera typically manifests as acute and profuse watery diarrhea, and in severe cases, it can be fatal. Endemic areas include several regions such as Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central America, and the Caribbean. Cholera vaccines are available in oral dosage form and require two doses for adults, with a minimum of 7 days and a maximum of 6 weeks between each dose. Children aged 2-5 require a third dose with the same interval. Make sure to complete the vaccination at least 1 week before traveling.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine
Measles, mumps, and rubella are highly infectious diseases that can lead to severe complications. Measles, in particular, can cause pneumonia, seizures, and even brain damage. These diseases spread easily through respiratory droplets. The combined live vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) is widely used for children’s immunization, thanks to its effectiveness against all three infections. Children should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, the first at 12-13 months of age and the second at 4-6 years of age. For adults, two doses with a one-month interval are recommended before traveling, with the second dose at least two weeks prior to the trip.
To ensure you remain healthy throughout your trip, it is important to check the essential vaccines recommended for the endemic areas you will be visiting. Vaccination requirements may vary based on your general health, physical examination, desired destinations, duration of stay, and activities. It is crucial to seek medical counseling before departure to receive personalized recommendations for your travel vaccinations.
For more information on travel vaccinations and to stay up to date with the latest news and services, visit Ekilove.