I'm 17 years old and I've never been vaccinated. Please don't respond with a rant about why people who don't vaccinate are wrong, that's not what I'm here for. My issue is that I'm currently looking to travel to either Africa or Asia with a friend for winter break
Since there is a yellow fever vaccine shortage I can't go to central Africa but Botswana/Zimbabwe is still on the table as well as India/Nepal.
Again the problem is I've never been vaccinated and I'm trying to find out if:
1. How bad is the risk of disease really in the places I want to go? I don't plan on eating local food, I'm packing my own, so I'm not worried about hepatitis, typhoid, polio etc., I'm more worried about diptheria, whooping cough, japanese encaphilits etc.,
2. My father, who is a doctor, might let me get the japanese encaphilits vaccine but what about the other diseases and because I've never been vaccinated will the process require a whole other series of vaccines to prepare my body?
Thank you to whoever answers respectfully and informatively
- EdnaLv 73 years agoFavorite Answer
You can go down to your doctor tomorrow and get vaccinated against diphteria, whooping cough, and tetanus (DPT). It is a combined vaccination, and all you need is one injection. Since your father is a doctor, I'm surprised that you did not receive the DPT vaccination when you were a baby. Almost very child in this country does. Perhaps you did, and just don't know it. Anyway, another one won't hurt anything.
As far as I am aware, there is no shortage of yellow fever vaccine in the U.S. However, it is not one of the "usual" vaccinations, so you will have to ask your doctor for it. He might not have it in stock, and so he will have to order the vaccine. That might take a couple of days, if he does. Again, it's just one injection. It's best to be vaccinated against yellow fever if you are going to be traveling to a country where yellow fever is prevalent. .The yellow fever vaccine won't hurt anything, even if you don't need it. Your might feel a little feverish the day after and your arm might be a little sore, but that's about all.
Japanese encephalitis is spread by a mosquito. It is most prevalent in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and East Asia. It is VERY RARE, and I woudn't go to the trouble of being vaccinated against it, unless I was going to be traveling in those regions.
The doctor might even want to give you the polio vaccine at the same time as you get your DPT vaccination; just for the heck of it. You might as well take it. It can't hurt anything, and then you will know that you're always protected against polio.
If you've never had a smallpox vaccination, you willl need to get one before you travel out of this country into a country where smallpox may still exist. In fact, it's usually required that you do so. You doctor can fix you up with that in about 5 minutes, at the same time you get your DPT vaccination.
When I was a Navy wife, I had to be up-to-date on all routine vaccinations and I had to take all sorts of esoteric vaccinations when we were being transferred to a foreign country. It was no big deal to take them, but I had to have them before my Navy passport would allow me to return to the U.S.
The regulation about getting certain types of vaccinations is not so much to prevent YOU from contracting a disease in a foreign county. It's to prevent you from contracting that disease in a foreign country and then bringing it back into the U.S.
Talk to your travel agent about what types of vaccines you should have for the countries you intend to visit (and what kind of vaccinations you will need to have to get back into the U.S ) Your travel agent will know.
- RoddyLv 73 years ago
It is not your fault that your parents chose not to get you vaccinated. Even some doctors fail to see the benefits, both short and long term, of vaccinating all kids.
You are now old enough to chose to get your own vaccinations, without parents interfering. Talk to your regular doctor and possibly also to the travel agent about the risks in the countries you intend to visit. Some vaccinations cannot be given within a certain time period of some others and so you need to talk as soon as possible to allow a proper sequence to be planned.
Some vaccinations are essential whilst others may be desirable. Please have as many as are recommended as desirable and not just the essential ones to bring your immune status up to where it should be at your age.
Do not rely on planning to take all the food you need! Many countries restrict or prohibit the import of foodstuffs unless they pass through quarantine or have a special certification as to their quality. You could have the foods impounded at customs in the destination country and then would be in a right fix if you could not safely eat local food. Anyway, sampling the local food is usually a part of the whole travel experience.
- 3 years ago
im trans and im proud
- David NLv 63 years ago
If you know where you want to go, any reputable travel agent can probably tell you what shots are necessary and which shots are "advised."
If you have never been inoculated for anything, better find out which shots are required TO GET BACK INTO the country too! Probably (at least) polio, diphtheria and whooping cough (maybe TB.)
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- Anonymous3 years ago
Going to Africa or Asia without getting vaccinated is just asking for trouble.
If, as you say, your father is a doctor, talk to him.
- formerly_bobLv 73 years ago
There is no accurate way to predict whether you will get sick. There's virtually zero risk of the diseases you mentioned if you are vaccinated. The risk is something more than zero if you are not vaccinated. The idea of avoiding local food as your primary means of avoiding disease is unrealistic. You still need to drink water and live in an environment where you will be exposed to pathogens that are uncommon in the US. Most people traveling to third world countries get sick even with vaccines.
Your immune system has very little protection against the things for which you have not been vaccinated or been exposed to. The best analogy i can think of is like spending a day on the beach without sunscreen or any recent sun exposure. Vaccines are like sunscreen and previous exposure to a disease is like the protection you get from the skin darkening from sun exposure. You won't have either one helping you.
- TulipLv 73 years ago
Wow there's just no help for stupid
- Rick BLv 73 years ago
This is a conversation to have with your doctor, not strangers on the Internet.