Vaccines types
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What is the Difference Between Routine, Required, and Recommended Vaccines?

Vaccines are an essential part of global health. They protect people from several diseases and prevent millions of deaths and illnesses each year. Most national healthcare systems administer various routine vaccines to children and sometimes adults.

However, different countries have varying requirements regarding immunization. As a humanitarian aid worker in an international context, it’s important to be aware of the vaccines you need when traveling. If you are moving to a different country for aid work, it is also essential to know what their routine vaccinations are.

So, we’ve put together a short article explaining the difference between routine, recommended and required vaccines. Please note that you should always consult your healthcare professional before receiving any vaccinations.

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Routine Vaccines

Typically, we associate routine vaccines with children. Most babies and small children receive routine vaccinations at specific ages. These include immunizations against polio, mumps, measles and rubella, tuberculosis, and others. However, there is also some routine vaccines recommended for adults.

While routine vaccinations are standardized usually in each country, they might vary between different nations. This difference is due to resources, but also as the result of differences in endemic diseases that can be immunized. For this reason, if you are moving to a different country, it’s essential to learn about their routine vaccines. You should also always keep a record of your routine immunizations.

Recommended Vaccines

On the other hand, there are several recommended vaccines. Usually relevant for people traveling or exposed to specific risks. For example, people working with animals might need a rabies vaccine. Also, during certain seasons the doctor may recommend a flu shot.

On the other hand, humanitarian travelers going to certain less developed areas may come in contact with diseases not common at home. Then, they should get a vaccine against these diseases. These might include hepatitis, tetanus, and typhoid fever, among others.

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Required Vaccines

Certain countries make several vaccines mandatory for residents. These mandatory vaccines vary by public healthcare system decisions and global health conditions. Also, some states might require vaccination proof to leave the country.

Further, there are also some required vaccines for travelers. One of the most common is the yellow fever vaccine. Many countries require a yellow fever certificate to enter the country. Some destinations may also need nationals of certain countries to show a yellow fever certificate as an entry requirement.

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