A vaccination involves administering a weakened bacterium or virus (live vaccine) or a small part of a bacterium or virus (inactivated vaccine). This leads to the production of antibodies that protect against disease due to a later contact with the bacteria or virus. Sometimes boosters are needed to provide long-term protection.
Mild symptoms often occur after vaccination, such as a flu-like feeling, fever and pain, redness or swelling at the injection site. Severe side effects are extremely rare.
To prevent severe diseases and epidemics in Belgium, children are vaccinated free of charge according to the basic vaccination schedule.
Travellers are advised to update their basic vaccinations. For certain countries additional vaccinations are recommended against diseases that occur there more commonly than in Belgium. During a travel consultation you are advised about which vaccinations are recommended for you. Make an appointment for one with your GP or in a travel clinic.