Vaccinations. Adult/Travel

Discussion in 'Vaccines' started by Gl;itch.e, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. Gl;itch.e

    Gl;itch.e Member

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    Hi Guys

    I'm looking at going on holiday to Vietnam and possibly Laos later in the year so I'm thinking about whether or not to get vaccinations before going. While I'm not in favour of needless vaccinations (esp in children) I wonder what dangers/risks I am looking at in vaccinating at my age (32). Some of the suggested ones seem so low risk that it's almost pointless getting them IMO. But others I wonder about.

    I have had a tetanus shot when I was 15-16 but nothing else since. I'm not sure whether I had the hep A and B done as a child either. But since I don't plan on having sex with locals or using needles I can't see them being too necessary.

    What are the opinions/experiences of you fine intelligent folk?
     
  2. Spokey

    Spokey Member

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    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dissolving-Illu ... 1480216895

    That book is worth a read, especially before you start doing stuff to your immune system you may regret (OAS and I think something called GT are examples). Naturally acquired immunity seems to be infinitely better than vaccine immunity.

    I'm not wholly opposed to vaccines (though i'm getting pretty close). It seems to me you have a specific list of diseases with specific risk factors attached to them. If you can find other prophylaxis besides vaccines, you could avoid some vaccines all-together.

    Polio, for instance, you might already carry and so be immune since half the people in the developed world do and are. In that situation, the vaccine would have all the risks attached to it (ironically AFP, poliomyelitis and some death!) but certainly none of the alleged benefits.
     
  3. OP
    Gl;itch.e

    Gl;itch.e Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts Spokey. I'd love if more people would wade in even if its only with "gut feelings" on the topic.
     
  4. aguilaroja

    aguilaroja Member

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    If you have a clear idea of possible destinations (specific regions of a country), you could look up what infections possibilities are endemic, or consult a travel health clinic to see what their recommendations are, so you can research individual recommendations.

    Hepatitis A is often spread through contaminated food, so avoiding needles and unprotected intercourse still leaves vulnerability through other routes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatitis_A

    "It is usually spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with infected feces.[2] Shellfish which have not been sufficiently cooked is a relatively common source.[4] It may also be spread through close contact with an infectious person.[2]"

    Tetanus immunity is probably important in all regions, over the lifespan, rather than a few weeks during exotic travel. As described on various sites, a booster is usually suggested after ten years, especially for those who did not receive a full series of Tetanus immunizations in childhood.

    http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tetanus/Pa ... ction.aspx
     
  5. nikotrope

    nikotrope Member

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    I wondered if I should get Japanese encephalitis vaccine since I now live in Japan. I live in a big city but if I go in the countryside there would be risks. But according to Wikipedia, most infections are asymptomatic, only 1 in 250 infections develop into encephalitis. In your vaccine list, I think Japanese encephalitis is the least problematic if you don't get vaccinated.

    I know a few people who can't handle malaria medication well, they still travel to countries where they are at risk without taking treatment. They are careful and don't have problems.

    I would get vaccinated even if I don't handle vaccines very well. The alternative is to be overly careful about everything but in this case you can't fully appreciate your travels.
     
  6. BingDing

    BingDing Member

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    It was the thimerosal preservative containing mercury, and maybe aluminum, in vaccines that almost certainly caused health problems for infants and toddlers. The vaccines have product data sheets listing ingredients although they aren't usually shown to patients before they get the shot. Maybe insisting on getting the data sheet to review it before you decide would be good. As an adult, the excipients are less likely to cause problems, but a vaccine without bad excipients is obviously better.

    Whether the modified pathogen in the vaccine produces as good an immune response as the full blown pathogen, who knows? My guess is that it's probably better for an adult to get travel vaccinations, especially if the vaccine is pretty clean. But it is a tough call.

    I got them all when I started traveling to the less developed world, and got the rabies pre-exposure vaccine when I wanted to mist net bats, without any problems. But flu vaccines still have thimerosal and always felt bogus to me, I've never gotten one of those. :2cents
     
  7. jaa

    jaa Member

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    I lived in Thailand for a while and I made sure to get all the necessary vaccinations even though I wasn't doing much travelling to remote locations. It's all based on how you view the risks. For me the risk associated with any of those diseases much outweighed the risk from vaccination.
     
  8. Spokey

    Spokey Member

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    Possibly, although vaccines not containing those substances have caused encephalitis and death in the past.
    Atypical measles which can occur after vaccination has been mistaken for meningitis in vaccinated individuals exhibiting neurologically related symptoms, but later was discovered be a measles virus.
     
  9. Spokey

    Spokey Member

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    I had a flu jab once because I was worried about time off work and was ill for three months, I'd rather have had the flu.
     
  10. Jake

    Jake Member

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    Spokey- that's really interesting about half of being born immune to polio. Do you have a reference for that. thanks...
     
  11. Spokey

    Spokey Member

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    I believe it's mentioned in the following.

    Edwin H. Lennette, “Pioneer of Diagnostic Virology with the California Department of Public Health,” an oral history conducted in 1982, 1983, and 1986 by Sally Hughes, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1988.

    I think it's more the case that Polio just isn't particularly dangerous under 'normal' conditions.
     
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