When traveling abroad, there are many vaccines that are mandated as well as suggested based on region. The vaccines for individuals vary highly on a few different things.
- Where are you headed?
- How long are you staying there?
- What will you be doing?
- What is your general health condition?
General Advice for Health and Safety While Traveling
In an ideal world, you will want to consult with your health practitioner about 6-8 weeks before your scheduled departure. If you do not have that much time, contact the practitioner anyway, you may still be able to get an appointment and seek advice before your departure date.
There are many issues that are experienced by travelers that cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other plans need to be made to deal with these. Some of these concerns include food and water safety, preventing accidents, care with sun exposure, staying away from insect bites and ensuring that you are practicing good respiratory hygiene.
When traveling with a prescription, it is important to check with local embassies about possible restrictions on medicine prior to traveling there. You can easily contact the embassy of Tanzania in advance to find out more information.
Travel insurance is also very important to research prior to the date of travel. This way if you have a medical emergency, you can seek assistance. Many countries have a worldwide list of clinics that you can visit all over the world, if you seek out this information in advance.
Vaccinations Suggested and Mandated for Travel to Tanzania
Before traveling, travelers should ensure all local vaccines are up to date. This includes those that are used in your home country such as the flu vaccine, MMR, and all vaccines that are a part of lifestyle and medical issues.
Measles Vaccine: it is important that infants have had the MMR before they have the vaccine before heading to the area. In most locations, the MMR is not the first vaccine for children. For children who are 12 months and older it is important that they have had the MMR with two doses that are given at least 28 days apart to allow the medicine to show any signs of reaction. For children that are 12 months and that have documentation of previous immunizations, it is advised to have one additional dose of the MMR before travel.
Hepatitis A Vaccine: Hepatitis A is a recommended vaccine to add to the list for all travelers because it is possible to transmit through contaminated food or water while traveling.
Typhoid Vaccine: This vaccine is highly recommended as it is possible to contract through contaminated food or water. This is especially recommended for all kinds of adventurous eaters.
Suggestions for Vaccinations for Tanzania
It is strongly advised that you consult your own travel clinic / doctor for professional advice.
Tetanus Vaccine: Tetanus is also called lockjaw. It is caused by a rare strain of bacteria that are known as Clostridium tetani. The toxin that is created by the bacteria leads to issues with muscle spasms in the abdomen and in the body. It can also lead to inability to open the mouth and is fatal in some cases. Tetanus can be caused by cuts, wounds, and animal bites. In an area where anyone will be exposed to animals it is a wise choice. A traveler should have this vaccination 28 days before traveling.
Diphtheria Vaccine: The condition of Diphtheria is spread through respiratory droplets and can be transmitted in close quarters. The vaccine should be taken 28 days prior to departure.
Hepatitis B Vaccine: This is spread through infected blood and products that contain blood. This can also be spread through sex and contaminated needles. There is a higher risk for travelers that are staying a long time and that require medical treatment during their travel.
Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccine: This is spread through contact with an infected person in close quarters. This condition is found all over the world but can happen during the dry season on a regular basis. There is a higher risk for travelers who are staying for a long time.
Yellow Fever Vaccine: This is spread by the bite of a mosquito. The disease is found in rural areas of areas but there can also be urban outbreaks. A recommended, but not mandatory vaccination subject to where you are travelling from.
Tanzania, in its effort to curb the spread of Yellow Fever, requires all person’s entering the country who have come from a Yellow Fever risk area to have proof as well of vaccination upon entering the country.