When we started planning our world trip, the first questions that came up were:
- When can we get the first baby vaccination?
- What kind of travel vaccination do we need?
First of all, your baby needs to be at least 2 months old for the first vaccination and needs to get follow-up vaccinations thereafter.
We were still in Germany when our baby got it’s first vaccination. The second one we got in Spain – even for free!
These are the usual standard baby vaccinations and timelines (published by the Robert-Koch Institute, recommended by the German STIKO):
There is a 6-fold vaccination in 1 injection for Tetanus, Diphtheria, Whooping cough, Polio, Hepatitis B, and Hib. The vaccination for Pneumococcal disease is a separate one. Rotavirus is also a separate one (oral vaccination) and not mandatory in all countries.
All of the standard vaccinations can be applied at one visit. Hence, you will need to get the first vaccination at 2 months, then at 3 months, 4 months and around 12 months. You may also skip one vaccination or delay it. In this case the vaccine protection will be a bit less.
After the first and second vaccination our baby was a bit crying on the next day. If you should have any side effects, they will usually appear within the next 3 days. Consequently, stay at one place the days after the vaccination, in case you need to visit a physician.
There are two very helpful sites regarding diseases in foreign countries:
To sum up, you need to check for Yellow Fever (South America and Africa) and Malaria (Asia, South America, Africa). Usually you would not vaccinate for Malaria due to its side affects. Furthermore, Yellow Fever should not be vaccinated before the age of 1. Therefore, we decided not to travel to those countries / areas. Please note, that there are several countries where the risk for these diseases varies across areas. For instance, most of the Brazil coast is save, whereas the inland is not.
Regarding Malaria often the following rule applies: the more rural it gets, the higher the risk for Malaria.
Finally, we decided to travel to Europe in the first 2-6 months and to Sri Lanka, Indonesia (Bali, maybe Java), Thailand thereafter. In these countries/areas you do not have the risk for Yellow Fever and no to low risk for Malaria.
After Asia we are not sure yet where to go next. Do you have any suggestions?