Prior to travelling out of the country for business or leisure, it’s important that you get vaccinated to keep infections at bay.
In fact, some jabs are compulsory and you won’t be allowed entry into some countries without showing proof of having been vaccinated.
Below we look at the vaccinations required for Kenyans before jetting out for adult travellers.
Vaccinations required for Kenyans
This list covers both routine vaccinations and travel-specific vaccinations.
1. Yellow fever vaccine
Yellow fever is spread by bites from infected mosquitoes and can be life threatening.
The yellow fever vaccination is vital if your itinerary covers countries with a higher risk of yellow fever which are located mostly in Africa, South and Central America.
Only one dose is required for life and you should take it about 10 days before flying to a tropical country.
You’ll be given an official yellow fever certificate or a yellow shot card to act as evidence of yellow fever vaccination.
2. Hepatitis A and B vaccine
Hepatitis A spreads through Faecal-oral contact, for instance by sharing food or drinks with a victim while you can get infected with Hepatitis B from sexual contact, blood products, and contaminated needles.
The consequences can be terrible and include the possibility of developing liver cancer.
For this reason, it’s recommended that you take this vaccine if you might engage in sexual activity with a random partner, get a tattoo, go through some medical procedures, etc. while out there.
At the moment, it costs Kshs.4425 to get this vaccination in Kenya.
3. Polio Vaccine
It’s advisable to get a dose of this jab if for some reason you have never been vaccinated (most of us have).
The options are Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) or Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) and the jab is more so important if you’re touring regions where the disease is rampant.
Please note that nations like India, Qatar, and Iraq require you to take an Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) 4 weeks (minimum) before departing.
The cost was shs.5500.00 the last time I checked.
4. Meningitis vaccine (Meningococcal disease)
Another tropical disease that sometimes kills within 24 hours of getting infected is Meningitis and you need to be vaccinated against the Meningococcal bacteria that cause it.
A shot is required for those who’ll be in close contact with the locals in zones where the disease is a common occurrence in the Central African belt and the Middle East.
The meningitis vaccine cost in Kenya is about shs.7800 currently.
5. Typhoid Fever Jab
Another life-threatening illness, typhoid is passed from one person to the next by taking contaminated water or food (with faeces) and it’s crucial that you protect yourself by taking a jab.
There are two alternatives: an injection or oral administration (you take capsules at home) and you should make arrangements to get it before travelling.
Other Vaccinations required for Kenyans
Here are more Vaccinations required for Kenyans as recommended by immigration departments in various countries and the ministry of health.
· Cholera and Traveller’s Diarrhea vaccine
The two ailments can be debilitating and are spread through the ingestion of contaminated food and water.
And while observing good hygiene during your travel helps, taking a dose before jetting out won’t do any harm.
The vaccine can be administered in a series of doses that are mixed with water at home.
The most affected nations are in the Central and South American belt, Africa, the Caribbean, southeastern Asia, and some parts of Europe (Eastern and Southern Europe).
It costs shs.2140 to get cholera vaccine Kenya.
· Rabies vaccine
Rabies infects the brain and is commonly carried by mammals like dogs and bats.
This means you may be infected if bitten or you come into other contacts with sick animals, for example, by playing with a dog.
It’s therefore recommended that you protect yourself by taking a shot if you’re be passing through high risk regions which are generally most African countries, swathes of Latin America, South East Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.
The cost for rabies vaccine in Kenya is shs.1500 in many hospitals.
· Influenza vaccine
As you might be aware, you can get Flu if an infected person coughs or sneezes near you.
Kisses and hugs are also easy routes for influenza, the virus causing flu to get into your system.
Try to get vaccinated against flu especially if you have scheduled your trip during the November to April flu season in the northern hemisphere.
For the southern hemisphere, the flu season starts in April and ends in October.
Things are worse for tropical regions as you can suffer a terrible flu infection all year round making the jab all the more important.
· Japanese encephalitis jab
This protects you against Japanese encephalitis, a serious illness caused by a virus and spread via mosquito bites.
And it’s not limited to Japan– you can easily get infected in a significant number of Asian countries particularly when in the rural areas.
Two doses are mostly given by injection some weeks before travel.
· Protection against Malaria
In most cases, taking prescription anti-malarial tablets before, during, and after the trip should help prevent malaria anytime you’re travelling to tropical nations.
Speak to a medical practitioner for advice on the best anti malaria tablets to take.
Consult your travel nurse or doctor about compulsory vaccines for Kenya and the optional advisable vaccinations before travelling.
Of course, you may only require a few shots if you completed your childhood vaccinations as prescribed and there’s no new risk.
Finally, visit your doctor about a month before the trip to get all the necessary vaccinations required for Kenyans or medicines you might need.
Good luck as you travel and be safe!