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21 December, 2016
When you take a trip to another country, you usually have to check that you’re up to date on your immunizations. But if you’re moving abroad for good, you’ll need a much more extensive medical check. Here are some of the ins and outs of immunizations (and other medical checks) expats will need to undergo.
Why Travelling Increases Risk of Disease
Our environment has a major impact on our health. There’s a reason that allergists recommend eating local honey. The exposure to local allergens decreases your reaction to those allergens by increasing your immunity. This is the same concept that caused mass disease among indigenous peoples when explorers came to their lands. Strange substances and bacteria that you’ve never been exposed to have a larger impact on your health.
This is, at its core, the reason for any vaccines. You introduce a disease to your body in a small enough dose that your body learns how to overcome it. This is extremely important for those traveling or moving to another country, especially places with known viruses you’ve never encountered.
Our location is so linked to our health that doctors and scientists can track your travel history based on the viruses in your body. This is because virus strains tend to thrive in one specific area, evolving as they change climate and conditions.
Because viruses often flourish in specific conditions, the vaccines you should get will vary based on where you are relocating to. This overview of vaccines for travelers covers the basics of what vaccines you should get before leaving the country at all, and some considerations for specific destinations.
Immunizations and Public Health
Many people are wary of vaccines, for a multitude of reasons. People want to know what they’re putting into their bodies and whether it can have unintended side effects. As long as misinformation isn’t spread, questioning the validity of any medical practice isn’t inherently bad. In fact, it’s how the medical community continuously improves and develops safer treatments.
Since the development of vaccines, public health and life expectancy have generally improved. Diseases that used to cause mass death are now practically non-existent. By doing your research before moving abroad, you can prevent yourself and your family from contracting deadly illnesses that your body doesn’t know how to combat. In many cases, certain immunizations are legally required to travel to a certain country. You’ll want to make sure you meet all the legal requirements before your relocation, as well as research any optional immunizations that could protect your livelihood.
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