What Uganda Travel Vaccines to take?
When it comes to travelling to other countries, especially those on the African continent, one of the questions that probe the minds of most travelers is whether or not they need to be vaccinated.
Do tourists need to be vaccinated before travelling to Uganda?
Emphatically yes! Vaccination is a precautionary measure that is required to ensure immunity against infections, diseases, and contagious outbreaks which one would otherwise be prone to while in Uganda.
This article presents a list of mandatory and recommended vaccines travellers intending to visit or stay in Uganda need to consider:
A yellow fever vaccination is a mandatory Uganda travel vaccine.
Travellers nine months of age and older are required to present their yellow fever vaccination certificate before entry to Uganda. Taking the vaccination is advisable because Uganda is in the yellow fever endemic zone.
The fever is brought on by a mosquito vector (Aedes aegypti) which is present in Uganda especially in the rural areas.
Due to the persistence of polio in sub-saharan Africa, immunization against the disease is recommended before travelling to Uganda.
For those who completed their childhood series of polio vaccination but never had an adult shot, a one-time booster is recommended. The polio vaccine is considered a routine vaccination on most travel itineraries. Polio is among the necessary Uganda travel vaccines.
Hepatitis A is caused by the intake of contaminated food or water. If you’re visiting rural areas where there are poor sanitation and hygiene practices, it’s advisable to include hepatitis A on your Uganda travel vaccines.
Hepatitis B is contracted through sexual intercourse, infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles, and sharp piercing objects.
The vaccine is recommended for those who might consider; having sex with new partners, getting tattoos, piercings, or any medical procedures involving blood transfusion while in Uganda.
Spread through mosquito bites, malaria is prevalent in Uganda.
There is no vaccination against malaria but travelers are advised to take prescription medicine before, during and after their trip to Uganda.
Also prevalent in Uganda is; Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika, other fevers that are brought on by different kinds of mosquito vectors. Like malaria, these fevers have no vaccination but travellers are advised to consciously avoid mosquito bites.
Wearing long-sleeved clothes, applying insect repellent to exposed body parts, and sleeping under a mosquito net, are some of the ways travellers can protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Mefloquine, doxycycline, atovaquone, are some of the probable antimalarial drugs travellers can consider taking on prescription.
Many of Uganda’s rural and urban areas do not have adequate sanitation, proper hygiene, and safe water. A typhoid vaccine is worth including on the list of Uganda travel vaccines for tourists, especially those visiting rural areas and smaller cities. The disease is caused by the intake of contaminated food and water.
Cases of cholera have been prevalent in Uganda in recent years. In the year 2019 alone, cholera outbreaks were reported in the districts of Bududa, Busia, Isingiro, Kisoro, and Kyegegwa.
The disease is caused by eating with unwashed and dirty hands, and through the intake of contaminated food and water. Tourists travelling to areas of active cholera transmission are advised to take the vaccine.
Meningitis (Meningococcal disease)
Travellers planning to visit any of the parts of Uganda that are located in the meningitis belt are adviced to include meningitis vaccination on their intended Uganda travel vaccines. The disease is most prevalent in most regions of the country in the dry spells.
Safarisits, avid naturalists and outdoor lovers are advised to take the rabies vaccine. In Uganda, rabies is found in dogs, bats, and several other mammals. Bites, licks, scratches, and contact with saliva from infected animals can be common occurance during activities like camping, biking, hiking, and camping.
MMR is one of the recommended Uganda travel vaccines. As a safety measure, travelers to Uganda are advised to be vaccinated against Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR); infants of 6-11 months are supposed to take 1 dose of MMR vaccine before traveling, for children above 6 months, and the adults whose blood tests do not show immunity, 2 doses of MMR vaccine are advised before travel. The two doses must be administered 28 days apart.
Those whose blood tests indicate immunity, as well as those who have written documents indicating they already had their 2 doses are exempted from vaccination.
The MMR vaccine is not administered to pregnant women and immunocomprised persons.
Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (TDAP)
TDAP is another significant Uganda travel vaccine. Immunization against tetanus should be seriously considered by tourists before a trip to Uganda. Tetanus is spread through contamination of wounds, cuts, and burns with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil everywhere, with Uganda being no exception.
The vaccination is especially recommended for travellers who haven’t had a tetanus-diphtheria vaccination within the last 10 years.
Diphtheria is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. Travels involving mixing with locals in overcrowded and poor neighborhoods are at a higher risk.
Booster shots are also recommended especially for those traveling to remote places where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available. As for pertussis, one booster shot is required for adults.
Most known as a childhood disease, an outbreak of chickenpox can be severe and devasting especially while in a place one is not adapted to.
Vaccination is given to those who have never had a chickenpox outbreak and have also not been vaccinated. The disease is airborne and can also be contracted through direct contact with an infected person.
Pneumonia is airborne. Two vaccines are normally administered separately. Travelers who are 65 years and above, as well as those who are immunocompromised are advised to receive the two vaccinations.
These are the recommended Uganda travel vaccines. Tourists are encouraged to receive the administration of the necessary vaccinations to have a great time while in Uganda.