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How to be prepared to volunteer abroad : Vaccination
What Vaccinations to Get for Volunteer Abroad?
It is very vital to understand what vaccination to get to go for volunteer abroad. This is one of the precaution you should take care to ensure your volunteering experience goes smoothly. During your volunteer abroad program, you'll be in a different country and will be exposed to various new elements, disease and viruses. Therefore, it is extremely important to examine and to get all vaccination required for volunteer abroad in your selected country.
Here you can find a checklist of things you should consider about vaccination to get for volunteer abroad.
- Schedule a visit to your doctor or healthcare provider (minimum 4 weeks prior to your trip)
- Research and learn about vaccinations you need to get for your selected country. Remember, some vaccinations are recommended, but not required. So, make sure you are getting what is required.
- Do you have any disease or immune-competence problems because of diabetes or HIV? If yes, then consult your doctor before getting vaccination.
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding? You mustn't take some vaccination. Please consult your doctor.
- Are you traveling with infants or children? Infants or children might need extra vaccination than you. Consider and consult your doctor.
- Cambodia: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/cambodia
- China: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/china
- India: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/india
- Nepal: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/nepal
- Sri Lanka: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/sri-lanka
- Thailand: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/thailand
- Vietnam: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/vietnam
- Ghana: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ghana
- Kenya: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/kenya
- South Africa: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/south-africa
- Tanzania: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/tanzania
- Uganda: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/uganda
- Argentina: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/argentina
- Brazil: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/brazil
- Ecuador: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ecuador
- Guatemala: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/guatemala
- Honduras: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/honduras
- Mexico: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/mexico
- Peru: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/peru
- Initial consultation fees range from $15 to $100
- Shot administration fee that ranges from $10 to $20 per shot
- Cost of vaccines can range from less than $10 per dose to $150 or more per dose,
- Travel vaccinations may cost less than $50 for one routine booster shot to $1,000 or more for several vaccinations
Please visit CDC Travel Health site for more health resources and vaccination tips to volunteer abroad.
Do I Really Need Vaccinations?
To protect yourself from any disease or infection when exposed to new environment during travel, especially when you are travelling to a developing country, it is very essential for you to get vaccination. The new environment many not be favorable for your body and immune system due to many new things – new water, new foods, new bugs and insects, new disease and more. Vaccinations acts as a shield against many potentially harmful foreign elements that you may face while volunteer abroad.
Vaccination you need to volunteer abroad may depends upon the country you are travelling, the season you are travelling in, your current health state, the work you'll be doing there and your past vaccination history.
What Vaccinations Do I Need?
As mentioned above, vaccination you need to volunteer abroad may depends upon the country you are travelling, the season you are travelling in, your current health state, the work you'll be doing there and your past vaccination history. You may have received some necessary vaccinations as a child, but it is important to discuss about the need of additional dose or not with your doctor. You should already have received some necessary vaccinations such as Td (tetanus/diphtheria) and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella). However, upon various circumstances additional vaccinations such as typhoid, polio meningococcal meningitis, Japanese Encephalitis, rabies or Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B may be needed.
Go through the lists of recommended vaccinations for each country online with The Center for Disease Control (CDC) .
The CDC recommended routine vaccines for those volunteering is Asia are MMR, chickenpox, and the Flu shot. CDC also recommend and encourage travelers to get vaccination for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. According to the place you are going to stay/ work, you may also need vaccinations for Polio, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis.
Following are some quick links to know about vaccinations for volunteering in Asia:
You need to be very careful if you're travelling to Africa. Vaccinations to volunteer in Africa are important and you will probably get more than just basic types of vaccinations. Africa, being an underdeveloped country can be a big problem for volunteers due to the contamination in food and water, and contact with animal or animal diseases. You will additionally need vaccinations like Malaria, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Meningitis and Rabies, if you are travelling to countries such as Ghana, Kenya or Uganda.
Following are some quick links to know about vaccinations for volunteering in Africa:
Central and South America
If you're travelling to Latin America, it should be comparatively safe destination for volunteer. It is unlikely that you'll need more than standard set of vaccines like MMR, chickenpox, flu, hepatitis A, and typhoid.
Following are some quick links to know about vaccinations for volunteering in Latin America:
How Much Do Vaccinations Cost?
The cost of vaccination varies depending upon healthcare providers and types of vaccine needed and other. First, check if your health insurance covers it or not. Even if it does it may cost you $10-$40 as co-pay. If not covered, please refer to this page - Travel Vaccinations Cost to learn more about vaccine cost.
You can also visit Passport Health USA – the largest provider of travel medical services, that offer travel consultations and travel vaccines.
How Far in Advance Do I Need To Get Vaccinated?
You must take your time to get vaccinated at least 4-6 weeks prior to your travel date. Some vaccinations have series of doses to be taken in certain intervals of time.
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