Common vaccinations and their diseases

Most of the vaccinations you can get are for some specific diseases. When you do travel more then the average you know these almost by heart. You are vaccinated and have a 10-15 year or lifetime protection against each illness.

In this post I will list the most common diseases and their vaccination with a short explanation.

Read this blog too: Do you get your vaccinations? Wil je deze post in het Nederlands lezen? Klik dan hier

Common Vaccinations and Diseases


Malaria is an infectious disease and is being caused by parasites which are carried by mosquitos. There are 4 kinds of malaria, of which one kind can be deadly. You need to protect yourself from mosquito bites and in some parts in the world you need to take medicins. It can be that they are only active in some parts of the year and/or mostly during dusk. Be prepared and get some DEET or other anti-mosquito spray with you.

Medicins to be used are Lariam, Malarone, Paludrine and others. In some parts of the world mosquitos have developed a resistance to certain medicins so you need to get some information about this one!

Yellow Fever

This is a serious but rare tropical disease. It is transferred by mosquito bites. Vaccination is the only way to protect yourself from this disease. Ten days after vaccination you are protected and this is valid for 10 years. Some countries, mostly African countries, will not let you enter without this vaccination.


This refers to a class of combination vaccines against three infectious diseases in humans: diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus. In the US, children get this injection in 5 doses to get the protection for a lifetime. There has been a fear of the side effects and because of that many children haven’t been vaccinated. You need to be informed about this by your parents or doctor to be sure.


This is a deadly disease if not treated. It is transferred if you get biten by a dog, cat, monkey or other infected animal. Also a lick of the tongue of an infected animal can cause an infection. It can take weeks and up to months before you get the first symptoms of Rabies. If you are bitten by an infected animal you need to get a shot of immunoglobuline and a vaccination as soon as possible but within a week. also here, some countries will not let you enter without this vaccination.

Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever, also known simply as typhoid, is a symptomatic bacterial infection due to Salmonella typhi. Signs you are infected are flu-like symptoms and a high fever. Without treatment, Typhoid Fever is deadly. There is no 100% protection but the disease is less severe after vaccination.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis (plural: hepatitides) is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. It is an infectious disease. It is transferred by food: to be specific, shellfish and unboiled vegetables. Getting a vaccination will protect you almost fully against this disease.

Hepatitus B

This is one of the most serious infectious diseases in the world. Transmission through blood contact or sexual contact. It is a highly infectious disease. After getting 3 vaccinations and a test, you can get a lifetime protection against it.

MMR vaccine

B stands for Mumps (epidemic parotitis), M stands for Measles, R stands for Rubelle Infection (German Measles) In Holland the diseases are nearly extinct. When you are born after 1975 you are vaccinated against it. If you were born between 1965 and ’75 you should get information from your doctor to get a vaccination. During your childhood you probably weren’t confronted with this disease enough to have built antibodies, so you can be sensitive for one of these diseases.

MTB or TB or Tuberculosis

Infection with Tuberculosis happens through exposure to coughing people with an active tuberculosis. If you’re traveling for an extended period (6months) to an area where this disease is still active, you need to get a vaccination. You can get a BCG vaccin that won’t decrease the change of contamination but will protect you against the severe consequences of this disease and improves  how your body handles it.


This is transmitted by mosquitos. The symptoms are high fever, headaches and muscle aches. There is no treatment and you can only protect yourself through precautions like anti mosquito clothes and repellent.

My experience:

I’m lucky not to have had a disease while traveling other then a bacterial infection. And this I couldn’t take any vaccinations against. Also this was easily fixed with a antibiotics. I did felt it for a month but it didn’t stop me from enjoying my travels and doing trips of all kind.