Updated: Jan 26, 2021
I had the opportunity to go to Brazil for a protection detail of an executive. Because of the nature of the executive and the nature of business the State Department was able to allow us to carry firearms. We had to have all our documents in order and one last thing we had to do was to get vaccinated for Yellow Fever. Pretty easy process but the vaccination itself takes 30 days to fully work so when planning international travel make sure you have time to research and prepare for your trip including your vaccinations. Here is a list of vaccinations recommended and many times required for International travel.
Yellow Fever vaccination is required for entry to many countries. It is a mosquito-borne viral disease present in Africa and South America. Countries like Ghana and Brazil require all or some travelers receive the vaccination to enter the country. This vaccine is only given by injection. The vaccine is very safe but the disease is very high. The CDC recommends this vaccination for those traveling to high risk areas.
Another mosquito-borne virus is called Japanese Encephalitis, closely related to the West Nile Virus. If traveling to regions of Asia that is prone to this virus then travelers should be vaccinated for this virus. This requires two doses about a month apart and is considered a very safe vaccine.
Cholera is a bacterial infection that is found in food and water sources contaminated with feces. As you can imagine the list is long for countries you can contract this disease. The main areas of Cholera are the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Millions of people across the world are at risk of getting Cholera. So think of rural areas that have limited access to clean water or medical facilities. Vaxchora is the oral vaccine for Cholera and should be administered 10 days before your travel.
Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver. It is usually spread through contaminated food or water. If you travel to developing countries with poor sanitary conditions take extra precautions. This disease can spread person to person. These vaccinations come in two doses taken six months apart. This vaccination can protect you for 40+years. This virus can occur all over the world. The safer countries are Canada, Northern and Western Europe, Japan, and New Zealand.
Polio is a potentially deadly and life altering disease. This virus enters the body and attacks the brain and spinal cord. It starts with contaminated food or water and is only transmitted through person to person. The vaccination can be oral or injected and almost 100% effective. If you are traveling to areas where polio is present you may want to consider a vaccine. Most children are vaccinated with polio anyway. Polio is prominent in Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Syria.
Typhoid Fever is an acute illness infecting millions globally by being spread through contaminated food or water, think of Salmonella. There are Typhoid pills and Typhoid injections. Typhoid Fever vaccinations are always recommended for international travel. It may be necessary for visiting smaller cities or rural areas. Humans are the host of this bacteria.
Rabies is a serious virus transmitted by infected animals, always mammals. Rabies are usually from wild animals but some developing countries have seen cases in domestic animals and strays. Three doses of the vaccination are required. Rabies can be found anywhere, but Central and South America, Southern Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe are high risk.
Anthrax is a serious bacterial infection. It is rare in many parts of the world and is spread through contaminated soil or animals. It cannot spread from person to person. Clearly we know Anthrax as a form of bioterrorism. The vaccination is an extremely effective vaccination that includes five doses over 18 months. Anthrax is most common in agricultural areas. Key areas may include Central and South America, parts of Africa, Middle east, Southern and Eastern Europe, and some of the Caribbean Islands. Infection is rare in the United States.
I hope this list helps. I've added a CDC link to each vaccination. When travelling internationally we as protectors can take for granted the harm that can be caused by viruses and bacteria's not only to our principal but to us as well. Research your destination and take the proper precautions.
As always Semper Tutum Semper Vigilanti.
Stay safe and be vigilant.