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Optional comment: Details needed of the role vaccinations play in public health and how to run an effective vaccination program.
Vaccines protect against many dangerous diseases. Each country has a schedule of vaccinations which are reccommended for that country. It is better to take children to be vaccinated while they are healthy rather than taking them for treatment when they are sick.
Vaccination falls within 2 categories: Fundamental vaccinations and Repeating vaccinations.
Fundamental vaccinations are those vaccinations which provide immunity against the most widely spread/most dangerous diseases. Repeating vaccinations are vaccinations for diseases of which a full protection can not be given with a single vaccine dose (thus requiring at least 2 or more dosages; or subsequent dosages throughout the entire lifetime of the patient, eg as in the case with tetanus).
Some diseases are common only in certain areas so that vaccination is only appropriate for people living in or visiting that area.
Vaccinations for travellers
Before travelling to the tropics you should seek expert advice on the vaccinnations and the Anti-Malarial medicines appropriate to the area you will be visiting. It is better to get advice from a specialist as they will be up to date on the latest reccommendations.
In London The Tropical for Tropical Diseases has a travel clinic.
General vaccination programs
Vaccines are available from different companies and have varying characteristics.
- Duration (eg vaccinations requiring 1 vaccine-dosage are to be preferred over vaccines requiring several vaccine-dosages)
- Level of protection (the higher, the better)
Refer to the information on each country for the list of vaccinations recommended for that country.
Many vaccines need to be kept cold to be effective. Appropriate technology can be an important element in maintaining a cold chain from the factory to the vaccination clinic.
- NanoPatch: significantly cheaper (as it has 1/100th of the dosage of a vaccine), doesn't require a cold chain as it's a dry patch. Does not work for all vaccine's though