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The Vaccination and Travel Medicine Center in Thailand

In 1796 8-year-old James Phipps fell ill with smallpox. English physician Edward Jenner took a sample of cowpox from an open sore on the hand of a milkmaid, this he then injected into the sick young boy. James Phipps made a full recovery, and thus was born the age of vaccinations. 

Following Edward Jenner’s success, the scientific study of vaccinations then gathered apace. After losing 2 daughters to typhoid, Louis Pasteur applied himself to the study of vaccinations. In 1872 he developed the first laboratory produced vaccine to combat the fowl cholera in chickens.

Today there are many diseases that are routinely vaccinated against, some of them which would, in years gone past, be killers. These include influenza, rubella, hepatitis A and B, measles, polio, mumps, tetanus, whooping cough and many more. Vaccination against disease is something that we now take for granted.

The obvious benefit of vaccinations is that it saves lives. But the benefits go further. Globally life expectancy has increased, economies have improved through a healthier workforce and long-term health costs are reduced. Ordinary people can travel the world with a vastly reduced risk of falling victim to sickness or disease, not to mention the elimination of a lot of pain and suffering. 

As with any medical treatment or procedure there is a total reliance on professionally trained physicians. Beit for routine vaccinations, or for a specialized vaccination program to facilitate travelling to remote parts of the world, the Vaccination and Travel Medicine Center of Samitivej Hospital gives everyone access to the most comprehensive and professional service available.

Being JCI accredited by the United States, every client can be assured of the center’s impeccable standards. This includes the highly trained team of professionals, the ultimate levels of cleanliness and hygiene and the utilization of the most up to date equipment, technology and treatment available anywhere in the world.

A Preventative Outlook

As with any area of medicine, prevention is better than cure. Too many fit and healthy people consider themselves immune from sickness and disease on their travels because they believe they are in good health. But traveling can expose a person to diseases that may have been eradicated in their home country, or to alien environmental conditions that are potentially harmful to their health.

With this in mind, education to the potential risks is essential. At the vaccination center the professionals have the knowledge of global health risks to the traveler. They consider it an important part of their work to impart this knowledge to their clients. Thus, each person can make informed choices as to safe guarding their health whilst traveling.

Knowing the specific precautions for differing parts of the world allows the traveler to be a greater guardian of their own health and wellbeing. Many travelers have had their holidays devasted by falling victim to sickness or disease. At the vaccination center the team aim to empower the traveler to self-reduce the risks of travel through education. 

Consultation Services

An initial consultation, and medical check, is a vital part of a client’s assessment prior to the administration of any vaccination program. It is essential that the practitioners are aware of any existing medical issues that may affect or preclude particular vaccinations. These consultations are undertaken for routine vaccinations and those that are specific requirements for travel.

Blood tests may be advised to check a client’s immune levels prior to undertaking certain vaccinations. In some cases, certain vaccinations may not be required, or only require a booster, as opposed to a full dose. Comprehensive testing helps to eliminate unnecessary procedures, saving time, money and client discomfort.

Vaccinations for the purposes of travel are many and varied, and depend largely on the travel destination. It maybe that a client requires a single vaccination, on the other hand, it may be that the travel destination requires a program of vaccinations prior to travel. The professionals at the vaccination center create individual vaccination plans to suit every client.

Common travel vaccinations may include those for yellow fever, diphtheria, typhoid, meningococcal and pneumococcal infection, rabies, MMR, Japanese encephalitis and of course, Covid, to name just a few. Such vaccinations are routine for the experienced staff at the Vaccination and Travel Medicine Center.

Post Exposure Vaccination

Routine mandatory vaccinations, along with those for travel are now common in everyone’s lives. Slightly less common are vaccinations following exposure to, or being at risk from, a disease. This could come about by exposure whilst traveling. Most commonly this would be due to environmental, or person to person contact.

The other main area of exposure to disease is via animal bites or insect stings. Bites from wild animals or snakes are not uncommon. Rabid animals are found in many parts of the world and pose a high health risk to anyone bitten by one. Thus, a rabies vaccination is essential following a bite, as would a tetanus booster. For treating snake bites, antivenin would normally be administered, and should the victim have not had a tetanus in the last 5 years, a booster will be given. 

Insect bites can be annoying, irritating and painful. In some rare cases an individual may experience a severe allergic reaction, this is known as anaphylaxis. Initially, treatment for this would be an intramuscular injection of epinephrine. Dependent on the level of severity, this may be repeated every 10 minutes.

Post Exposure TB Testing

One the most common exposures to disease whilst traveling would be to that of tuberculosis, or TB. Should there be a threat of exposure to TB, the vaccination center will carry out a PPD (purified protein derivative) test. This is a skin test devised to detect the latent existence of TB. Should the test prove positive, appropriate treatment can then be administered. 

Testing for these types of disease, particularly post exposure, not only serves to preserve the health of the individual concerned, but also to those that come into contact with that person. Undetected disease can not only cause suffering to others, but can have devastating effects on whole communities. 

The Vaccination and Travel Medicine Center at Samitivej Hospital operates at the cutting edge of preventative vaccination, making people safer at home and abroad. Coupled with their unrivaled post exposure expertise, makes the center a world leader in vaccine medicine.

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