How Effective are Vaccines?

I was recently at a Calgary Wellness Fair and spoke with a woman who contracted Typhoid while working abroad. She was unaware that the vaccine she received didn’t protect her 100%. All of us who work in the field of Travel Medicine know that no vaccine is 100% a 100% of the time.  There are differing responses amongst the general population.  Some people get an excellent response while someone else may just get a mediocre response. The bottom line though is that they all have a better response then someone who did not get the vaccine.

Although this person felt that she was quite ill it is very likely that she would have been even sicker if she had not received the vaccine. We know that vaccinated persons who do fall ill with the disease are usually much better off than those who didn’t bother with the vaccine. The studies on typhoid vaccine shows a 75% effectiveness with a drop to 55% after 3 years. It is important to know that boosters are important for on going protection. Because there is so much to know in the field of Travel Medicine we think it is important that you visit a Travel Clinic before each trip.

People are often surprised that we see typhoid in Canada.  In the USA it is the most frequently diagnosed travel related disease. And it frequently comes from Mexico. Although I do not have any statistics for Canada the result is likely the same. Go to the attached link for info on Typhoid from the World Health organization.

http://www.who.int/vaccine_research/diseases/diarrhoeal/en/index7.html#vaccine

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