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Are travel vaccinations always needed?

My wife and a friend are thinking about going to Vietnam and Indonesia for a week, few days in each. They will be staying at the very best 5 star hotels/resorts available, and won't be going outside the city / shopping areas.

Travelling from London and Saudi, both fit and healthy and under 40.

Do they still need all vaccinations?

Thanks.

Posted by
5574 posts

Just to pick one example, recent outbreaks of Measles in the U.S. have started with an international visitor returning home to an area (like some wealthy parts of California ... ) where vaccination rates resemble those of less-developed countries. Why? Parents who chose to stick with their preconceptions instead of science. Are you aware that the researcher who reported that childhood vaccinations carried an autism hazard not only had the article retracted by the journal, but lost his medical license?

One reason I picked Measles is that you can get it by entering a room where an infected person was an hour before you. Another is that my wife almost died from it as a child. But you can get Hepatitis A from shellfish or an infected busboy in a kitchen. (Not to pick on busboys ... ) There are occasional cases in New York City, where I go, several times a week, and eat in restaurants. Why would you avoid vaccination?

Posted by
28121 posts

But surely they can count the number of stars over the door. And they don't fly inside the city limits either.

Posted by
647 posts

Thanks.

PS. We only stay in the best hotels, smart dress code, mosquitos can't get past the doorman without a tux.

Posted by
3336 posts

I always get vaccinated or make sure my vaccinations are up to date when traveling anywhere in southeast Asia.
Even in cities and in nice hotels, you are never far from standing water whether it be in the street, an alley, a stagnant canal, or a field. Malaria is always a risk although less so in more developed areas.
You would think that all employees of a "nice" hotel would be free from infectious disease but that just isn't necessarily the case. Food handling is typically better in good hotels and the risk is far less than some other places at which your wife and her friend could eat or stay but Indonesia and Vietnam are still developing countries. Things aren't always as rigorously monitored as one might hope.
Err on the side of caution and make sure they get vaccinated before they go. Why wouldn't they if there is even a small risk and when the consequences of contracting something could be life-changing?
Not worth it.

Posted by
647 posts

Thank you Anita and everyone. Will certainly get the required jabs.

Posted by
1678 posts

Though you're in London, the US Centers for Disease Control has a handy website with country-specific info here. I traveled to Vietnam last year and based on my destinations and the advice of my doctor, I did not get malaria treatments. But I did choose to get Hep A and updates on tetanus, thyphoid, and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis. A medical professional is the best to give advice based on the specific situation.

Posted by
28121 posts

Vaccinations are like accidental death insurance - you only need it if you need it. Will you need it? Are you a gambler?

Posted by
6797 posts

According to World Health Organization, in 2013 there were about 200,000,000 people with malaria, and about 600,000 deaths. Not to mention all yellow fever, dengue, and all the other tropical diseases. Mosquitoes not stopped by doormen at your hotel. If they are, give him a good tip.