Not all GP clinics in Melbourne stock travel vaccinations, however Yarra Medical stocks a full range of travel vaccines including the diphtheria vaccine.
The diphtheria vaccine provides the best protection against diphtheria, and is given as a combined vaccine that provides immunisation against other serious diseases.
All children and young adults up to and including 20 years of age can receive the vaccine for free.
For adults, the vaccine is given in three doses each a month apart. If you are travelling to high-risk areas, such as South-East Asia, Russia and some Eastern European countries, you need to cone in and see at least three months prior to your departure to make sure you are protected.
If you are 50 years of age or over, a combined booster of the diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus vaccines is recommended.
Side effects of the diphtheria vaccine
The diphtheria vaccine is considered safe and side effects are uncommon, but you may experience a lump or pain at site of injection, mild fever, irritability (particularly in children) or drowsiness. These symptoms are generally mild and do not require any specific treatment.
What is diphtheria?
Diphtheria is caused by an infection of the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria, which releases a toxin into the body that affects the respiratory system and can cause a membrane to grow over the windpipe, making breathing difficult. It severe cases it can lead to suffocation and death. Diphtheria spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and it is breathed in by another person.
Symptoms can include a sore throat, pain when swallowing, fever and difficulty breathing. Symptoms usually occur 2 to 5 days after catching diphtheria.
For more information please view the Better Health website.
For information on other vaccines, see also: