It is safer to be vaccinated while travelling, even if the vaccinations you are planning to visit are classified as “recommended” and not “mandatory”. I know some people who traveled to Peru without vaccinations and experienced no problems; however, I also know those who, due to a lack of vaccinations, have suffered health complications.
When planning a trip to Peru you need to remember that the conditions prevailing here often differ from the standards that you may be familiar with. Food or water may contain bacteria or germs which your bodies may not be able to overcome. Remember that what is normal for Peruvians is not always normal for others and it can cause many health complications. Definitely you must watch what and where you are eating. In Peru, water is not the cleanest so you have to avoid contact with tap water.
As for food, if you want to eat for cheap, you have to be aware of the risks associated with it; but if you are careful you should not have problems. For example, I eat in typical, low-cost Peruvian restaurants and I feel healthy (although I have had some small stomach problems a few times).
The typical vaccines recommended for travel to Peru are as follows:
- Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B
- Yellow Fever
However, you need to remember, that before a trip you should always check your doctor’s recommendations about vaccines.
Here are some websites on which you will find accurate information about vaccines recommended in Peru and in other countries:
Also remember that you should think about vaccines at least some weeks in advance, if not months. Some vaccines (such as the rabies vaccine), are given in sets of 2 or 3 shots with breaks in between. If you are planning a trip that will last more than a few months, you need to start the vaccination process much earlier.
If you have any health problems, it is always necessary to check if you can take vaccines – a matter you should discuss with your doctor.