What vaccinations do I need for Africa? Swine Flu vs. Travel Fun

Updated May 4, 2020

“What vaccinations do I need for Africa?” I asked myself as I planned my trip to Tanzania. I needed to take travel vaccines months before I left to make them effective once I arrived in East Africa. Here are my thoughts on travel vaccinations.

Smiling Unstoppable Stacey walks on dirt road while family looks on from their one-story
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey in Lyamungo, Tanzania, on the side of Mount Kilamanjaro

To travel or not to travel that is the question: Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the slings and arrows of Swine Flu (or any other travelers’ pestilence- we can now add ‘COVID-19’ here),
Or to take arms (medical masks) against a sea of troubles…?

For UNSTOPPABLE Stacey to not travel is to die (or so I thought back in 2006, before coronavirus sequestered me.)  So I pull up my sleeve and head off to the local county health organization. Thank God the Yellow Fever vaccine is good for ten years. It looks like I may be due for my Typhoid booster (due every two years.)

Although there is no Swine Flu vaccine for humans as of yet (this was back in 2006, remember) I did order 30 days of Malarone. That funky malaria med that affects people in different ways. Makes me feel as if I’ve just had two glasses of champagne. Sans the bubbly, tant pis.

I’m headed to Tanzania, East Africa, and if the Swine Flu doesn’t get me before I leave the Southwest USA, malaria, dysentery or the common cold on the other side of the globe may.

That’s why I stay up on all travelers shots and meds, take plenty of vitamins and get lots of rest before I leave.

Traveler Tip: Emergen-C better than Airborne. Ups your immune system and comes in handy pouch. Order an extra glass of water on your next airline flight and pour it in. Bring an extra supply for the guy sitting next to you. He might have Swine Flu.

What vaccinations do I need for Africa?

I checked with the CDC to find out what vaccinations I needed for Africa. The CDC  recommends vaccinations by country, so I looked up Tanzania. You’ll have to look up travel vaccine recommendations by the country or countries you plan to visit in Africa.

I had to make sure that my measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) was up to date. I also got a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussi (chickenpox) vaccine that somehow I had let slip. The CDC also recommends that you take the polio vaccine and yearly flu shot.

The series of shots for hepatitis A and hepatitis B were spread out over time, so talk to your doctor about setting up a schedule. I also needed the Yellow Fever vaccine, mentioned above, and malaria medication. The cholera vaccination was not needed because I didn’t plan to go to Dar es Salaam on my first trip to Tanzania. The CDC recommends vaccinations by country, and by region or city within the country. Check out their current recommendations for Tanzania here.

The vaccinations or medication I took were for:

  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • Diptheria-tetanus-pertussis (chickenpox)
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis A and hepatitis B
  • Yellow Fever

As I packed my bags for Tanzania, I noted: “Only one reported case of Swine Flu in Arizona so far. My luck, he’d be sitting right next to me on the flight from Phoenix to Tanzania.”

Read more about UNSTOPPABLE Stacey’s trip to Tanzania.

Doctor in white jacket stands next to translator and address a crowd waiting for medical services with the jungle in the background
Translator speaks Swahili to those patiently waiting for medical service. Volunteer Faithworks physician stands next to him.

This blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. Thanks for reading.

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