Your travel vaccine guide
Most travellers get excited about the prospect of travelling to a new place and are usually busy juggling their passport and visa documents to worry about finding out whether they require a travel vaccine.
“I have received many calls from travellers who were interested in getting a vaccine only to hear that they were departing to their trip the very next day,” said Dr Izak Joubert from Travel Safe Clinic.
Joubert, who has two clinics in Cape Town, one in Claremont and the other in Somerset West, said that some travellers did not believe in taking vaccines while others were overzealous and demanded the vaccines.
“Always heed to your doctor’s advice,” he said.
Joubert recalled a story about a South African couple who refused to take meningitis vaccines when they travelled to the Ivory Coast and flew to Miami thereafter.
“I advised them to take the meningitis vaccines even if they were travelling to the Ivory Coast for a few days. Sadly, the lady died on the trip after contracting meningitis.
“My job as a doctor is to advise people of the vaccines that they should and should not take and they need to make their own decisions,” he said.
Dr Leslie Gritzman from Travel Doc - Travel Clinic & Housecalls said there was one compulsory vaccine regulated by the World Health Organisation, namely the Yellow Fever vaccine.
He said: "This vaccine is required when travelling to countries such as Ethiopia, The Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Argentina and Sao Paulo. Proof of vaccination in the form of a Yellow Book, when entering or leaving these countries, are required.
"As far as South Africa is concerned a traveller will have to present his/her Yellow Fever card when leaving for or coming from a Yellow Fever country. This card is also required when a traveller is in transit in a Yellow Fever Country for longer than 12 hours."
Gritzman said there were other recommended vaccines for people travelling abroad such as Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines, tetanus combined with diphtheria, whooping cough and polio as well as measles, mumps and rubella.
He advised that travellers need to seek advice from their nearest travel clinic.
"Travellers are advised to make an appointment at their nearest travel clinic to discuss and obtain their required vaccines before travelling."
Travel clinics to visit in these three cities:
- The Travel Doctor
Located at 45 Braam Fischer Road in Durban. Call 031 360 1122.
- Parlock Health Care Clinic
Located at 464 Inanda Road, Parlock in Newlands West. Call 031 577 4356.
- Umhlanga General Practice and Travel Clinic
Located at 321 Umhlanga Rocks Drive in Durban. Call 031 582 5302.
- Travel Doc - Travel Clinic & Housecalls
Located at 236 Athol Street in Highlands North. Call 082 457 0176
- Melrose Medical
Located at the 1st Floor, Suite 7c, 3 Melrose Blvd, Birnam in Johannesburg. Call 011 684 1163.
- Travel Doctor (Rosebank)
Located at the 8th Floor of Firestation Rosebank at 16 Baker Street, Cnr of Bath Avenue in Rosebank. Call 010 900 3013 or [email protected]
- Travel Doctor (Durbanville)
Located at Durbanville Private Hospital Annexure Nr 2 at 11 Paul Kruger Street in Durbanville. Call 021 976 3008 or email [email protected] Visit www.traveldoctor.co.za/
- Travel Safe Clinic
Located at 3, Cavendish Place, 12 Cavendish Street in Claremont. Call 021 851 7643.
- Constantia Travel Clinic
Located at 4 Schilpadvlei Road in Constantia. Call 021 794 5584.