What vaccines before going abroad? Focus on measles and flu vaccine

If you live abroad or travel abroad, you should be vaccinated, this is the most comprehensive protection against certain pathologies especially in tropical regions. It is also essential to buy a healthcare insurance plan for overseas.

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The following vaccines are still essential

  • typhoid fever
  • diphtheria
  • yellow fever (for African countries in particular)
  • Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B (highly recommended)
  • polio, tetanus
  • measles

You will also need to be prescribed appropriate treatments for common conditions for which there is no vaccine (malaria, dengue fever, dysentery…) and prepare a travel pharmacy with the first emergency medicines.

It is highly recommended to consult a doctor or to go to a specialized medical centre at least 6 weeks before departure ideally 2 months to check that you are up to date with your vaccines, make those you lack and get the prescription of emergency medicines.

Global Measles Epidemic

The number of measles cases increased by 300 in the first 3 months of 2019, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
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.

Faced with an increasing number of people skeptical of the interest of vaccines, the ever-increasing mobility of travellers and also for some countries with poor medical infrastructure, there has been a measles epidemic in recent months. in different parts of the world: Africa (up 700), Europe (up 300), the Eastern Mediterranean, the Americas and Southeast Asia. In the United States, the epidemic is rampant to the point of refusing to derogate from vaccination, which is mandatory for religious reasons.

This epidemic is dramatic because there is no medicine to fight measles and only vaccination can prevent the virus from contracting and treating it. If you are travelling, check your vaccination.
To stop an epidemic, it is essential that 95 of the population be vaccinated.

Getting vaccinated is better than not getting vaccinated

In recent years, there have been a significant number of people questioning the value of vaccination. These opinions spread at lightning speed via social networks. One study showed that 60 of the fake news conveyed by social networks concern the health field.
Being vaccinated saves lives and has reduced the crushing mortality and complications of many diseases resulting from virus contagion. Alternative medicine cannot respond to viruses such as measles or polio or serious diseases such as cancer. It has its place in the prevention and chronic treatment of certain pathologies but 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 “vaccine-sceptics,” many countries have expanded the number of mandatory vaccines for toddlers. For example, France has restored compulsory vaccination for certain pathologies, including measles vaccines. Success is at the rendezvous with a drop of a factor 3 of pathologies and deaths due to complications of viral diseases such as measles.

Getting the flu shot every year

Every year, a campaign is launched for influenza vaccination. The mutant influenza virus every year, the vaccine must be renewed every year as well.
In a logic of balancing the risks taken and the possible side effects, the answer is always the vaccine and especially for the populations most fragile with regard to the virus namely older people or people at risk as a result of their occupation, such as 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 but also for your routine medical care and prevention such as vaccines.

How are vaccines reimbursed by your health insurance?

It all depends on your insurance.
If you do not have insurance and you benefit from your country’s local health insurance system, you may be able to be reimbursed, but in general, coverage is limited to treatment and not prevention.
If you have private health coverage abroad, each insurance offers different coverage and you should ask your insurance broker.

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