Which vaccines should I take when traveling abroad with international health insurance?

The Coronavirus health crisis has brought the usefulness of vaccination back into the spotlight. If you live or travel abroad, it’s even more important to get vaccinated. This is the most comprehensive protection against certain diseases, particularly in tropical regions. Like vaccination, international health insurance covers you against illness or accident, even if you’re in perfect health. Medical coverage abroad becomes essential in the event of a pandemic. It is compulsory for some countries, such as Thailand, which requires international health insurance covering Covid-19.


The following vaccines are always essential

  • typhoid fever
  • diphtheria
  • yellow fever (particularly in African countries)
  • hepatitis A, hepatitis B (strongly recommended)
  • polio, tetanus
  • measles

La vaccination contre le Covid et autres traitements préventifs

Vaccination against Covid-19 is not yet compulsory when traveling, but some countries like Australia will require it when their borders reopen. We’re talking about using a passport to travel that shows you’ve been vaccinated against Covid, which will be called Travelpass like our Travelpass travel insurance!

In addition, you’ll need to obtain appropriate prescriptions for common ailments for which there are no vaccines (malaria, dengue fever, dysentery…), and prepare a travel pharmacy with first-aid medicines.

It is strongly recommended that you consult a doctor or go to a specialized medical center at least 6 weeks before departure, ideally 2 months, to check that you are up to date with your vaccinations, get any missing ones and obtain a prescription for emergency medication.

Getting vaccinated against measles

The number of measles cases has risen sharply again as of 2019, and the WHO has warned of the need to vaccinate against this virus too.
This virus, the most contagious in the world (it can be transmitted through the air even after an infected person has left a room 2 hours before), had been virtually eradicated from planet earth. With more and more people skeptical about the benefits of vaccines, ever-increasing traveler mobility and, in some countries, poor medical infrastructures, we have seen an epidemic of measles in various parts of the world. This was the case in Africa (+700%), Europe (+300%), the Eastern Mediterranean, the Americas and Southeast Asia. In the United States, the epidemic was so rampant that exemptions from compulsory vaccination were refused on religious grounds. The coronavirus epidemic has pushed this epidemic into second place, but the virus remains formidable nonetheless.

There is no medicine to combat measles, and only vaccination can prevent and cure the virus. If you’re traveling, check your vaccinations. To stop an epidemic, 95% of the population must be vaccinated.

Getting vaccinated is better than not getting vaccinated

In recent years, we’ve seen a large number of people questioning the value of vaccination. These opinions spread at lightning speed via social networks. A study has shown that 60% of fake news carried by social networks concerns the healthcare sector. Here again, the Coronavirus epidemic has amplified this phenomenon to a very worrying degree.
Vaccination saves lives, and has led to a reduction in the devastating mortality and complications of many diseases caused by contagious viruses. Alternative medicine cannot deal with viruses such as measles or polio, or with serious pathologies such as cancer. It has its place in the prevention and chronic treatment of certain pathologies, but it is not enough.
The launch of a vaccine and the obligation to vaccinate is the result of calculating the number of lives saved or pathologies avoided compared to non-vaccination. Faced with the rise of the “vaccino-skeptics”, many countries have extended the number of compulsory vaccines for toddlers. France has restored compulsory vaccination for certain diseases, bringing the total to 11, including measles. Success has been achieved, with a 3-fold reduction in pathologies and deaths due to complications from viral diseases such as measles. Vaccination against Covid-19 is the only way out identified to halt the global epidemic.

Get a flu shot every year

Every year, a campaign is launched for influenza vaccination. As the flu virus mutates every year, the vaccine needs to be renewed every year too.
In order to strike a balance between the risks taken and the possible side effects, the answer is always to vaccinate, especially for those populations most vulnerable to the virus, i.e. the elderly or people at risk due to their profession like the medical professions in constant contact with the population.

Reimbursement of vaccines by health insurance abroad

Health insurance abroad is essential to cover you against accidents and serious illnesses, as well as for routine and preventive medical care such as vaccinations.

How are vaccines reimbursed by your health insurance?

It all depends on your insurance.
If you don’t have insurance and are covered by your country’s local health insurance system, you may be reimbursed, but coverage is generally limited to treatment, not prevention.
If you have private health cover abroad, each insurance company offers different cover, and you should ask your insurance broker.

On our Gold range policies, especially Gold Access, Gold Safe and Gold Premium, you benefit from vaccination cover. A medical prescription is required. For the Covid-19 vaccine, we will be able to provide over-the-counter treatment. Contact us for details of your coverage and for advice on the international health insurance best suited to your situation.

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