Where can I obtain information regarding the vaccinations required before traveling?
You can obtain this information at an immunization center, such as the Buda Health Center, or online at Országos Epidemiológiai Központ (National Center for Epidemiology)
What diseases can I be vaccinated against?
There is a total of 21 diseases against which you can receive active immunization in Hungary. Of these, those related to travel are, first of all, yellow fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhus, meningococcus meningitis, rabies, cholera, tetanus and poliomyelitis. In case of extended trips, studies or special work abroad, the required or advised list of vaccinations may be increased to include measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), chickenpox (varicella), pneumococcus and influenza vaccines. In mid-African and most South American countries, yellow fever vaccine is required.
What is included in a travel consultation?
When traveling abroad, it is important to be aware of the health conditions in the areas to be visited, the contagious diseases and epidemics that might be occurring there at that time. You will be given recommendations specific to your needs since your age, health, previous vaccinations,
the reason for and length of your trip, the expected circumstances and
many more factors will determine the vaccinations you will require and the precautionary measures you should take. You will also be advised regarding medication to protect you against malaria and other dangers threatening travelers in general such as diarrhea, altitude sickness, diseases spread through water or insects and the danger of thrombosis during a long flight, etc.
How far ahead of my trip should I be vaccinated?
There is no uniform time period, but generally, to be effective, the first vaccination should be given at least six weeks before departure. Repeat vaccinations may be given even one week before departure.
What are the guidelines for choosing the necessary vaccines?
There are vaccines that are required by some countries (i.e., Nigeria requires yellow fever vaccine) while most are recommended on the basis of local data on epidemics. The circumstances of travel and the traveler’s personality, past and possible chronic disorders and current conditions influence the vaccinations you will be recommended. For instance, a research group planning a longer trip to a tropical jungle or an individual member of an aid organization planning a trip to starvation areas will need much more immunization than a person planning to stay in a luxury hotel for one to two weeks on the seashore. Expectant mothers should discuss their condition with their doctor since pregnancy needs to be taken into account when considering vaccinations.
Are there contraindications to vaccinations?
Generally, contraindications are early pregnancy, certain neurological disorders and hypersensitivity to the vaccine or to its components. The vaccine’s effectiveness is influenced by an immune system weakened due to cancer, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, HIV infection, low level of antibody gammaglobulinemia, etc. Some treatments, such as steroids, chemotherapy or radiation may also lower the body’s immunity.
I am going to study abroad on a scholarship. What vaccinations do I need?
In the case of studies abroad, the regulations of the host country are to be followed. Usually proof of childhood vaccinations is requested, MMR vaccination within ten years, natural immunity to chickenpox (varicella-zoster virus -VZV) or proof of vaccination and vaccination against meningococcus meningitis is usually required. Some countries, such as Canada for example, also require lung and HIV screening.
What preparations are required prior to vaccination?
No special preparation is required. Your vaccination booklet is definitely needed, however, since it contains the record of all your vaccinations. If it should be missing, you should see your family doctor or pediatrician in order to replace it. Also, carefully think through all the past and present illnesses you had to be able to precisely inform the vaccinating doctor.
Are there vaccines I should have even if I plan to spend my vacation in Hungary?
Yes! Though they are not required, immunizations against hepatitis B, meningitis and tick-caused encephalitis are strongly recommended thereby preventing possible serious consequences.