Only one vaccine is legally mandated by Belgian law and that is for polio. However, in conjunction with your doctor’s recommendations, standard vaccinations for babies will normally be carried out at 2 months of age, three months, four months, 12 months and 15 months. Other vaccines recommended are those such as measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), diptheria/pertsusis/tetanus (DPT), to name the most common.
Though not posing a major health risk, possible diseases/infections to look out for can include:
- Tick borne Encephalitis (TBE) – May occur in the warmer month.
- Measles – Some people consider the vaccine more deadly than the disease, but there is a small occurrence of outbreaks in Europe, as witnessed in 2007.
- Hepatitis A – Not common but is a possibility.
- H5N1 (Avian Flu) – Again, not common but Europe is always on the lookout for possible outbreaks.
- Swine Flu – Belgium had a few reported cases in 2007/8, but it did not become a major issue, with emergency services having been well prepared to deal with it and sending constant updates and advisories.
Possibly the most important item to remember when travelling is to ensure you have enough of any prescription medications you may need. Though it may be possible to get a prescription in Belgium, remember not all medications where you come from will necessarily be approved or available.