When traveling, it may be a good idea (and in some cases a necessity) to take a vaccination to prevent sickness. Traveling puts us at risk for a number of illnesses that can be prevented by vaccination. As we get older, our risk of getting certain diseases increases and your vaccine-acquired protection against many illnesses may decrease.
Before leaving for your vacation, you should see a doctor, nurse or health care provider for a health assessment and to confirm whether or not a vaccine is needed. It is difficult to know on your own which vaccines are needed for which country. Some countries even make it a necessity to show certain vaccination papers upon entry into their country.
For example, cholera vaccine proof is a requirement not by the government, but by local authorities in parts of Africa.
In another example, Saudi Arabia requires proof of meningococcol (meningitis) immunization for pilgrims to mecca during Hajj.
For travelers headed to the Caribbean or Central America, such immunizations are simply a precautionary measure and not a requirement. Diseases contracted in these areas can be warded off by avoiding tap water and mishandled food.
If you want to live on the safe side, there are vaccinations available to prevent hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and malaria. Visit your doctor or local health clinic for more information on the recommended vaccinations for the area you will be traveling.
Have a safe and happy holiday.