Don’t Forget These Essential Travel Vaccinations
Are you planning a trip abroad? If so, you’ll need to make sure that you’re up-to-date on your Travel Vaccinations. Many countries require proof of vaccination before you are allowed to enter, and some diseases are more prevalent in certain parts of the world.
In general, it is recommended that you are up-to-date on all routine vaccinations before traveling abroad. This means getting vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP); varicella (chickenpox); and polio. You should also get a yearly flu shot if you are going to travel during the winter months.
Your doctor or a travel clinic can help determine which additional vaccinations you may need based on your destination(s) and how long you will be away. Vaccinations that may be recommended include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, yellow fever and meningococcal disease. Vaccines for other diseases, such as cholera and plague, may also be recommended depending on the destination.
Most vaccines are given in a series of two or more shots over a period of several weeks to months. It is important to begin the process of getting your travel vaccinations at least 4–6 weeks before your trip so that you can complete all required doses and give your body time to build immunity.
Your doctor’s office or local health department should have information about where you can get vaccinated before traveling. If you cannot find a local provider who offers travel vaccines, there are clinics outside the US that offer these services. However, it’s important to note that some of these clinics may not be certified and may not use the same quality of vaccines.
While abroad, it’s important to take steps to prevent illness. This includes avoiding contact with animals, only drinking bottled or boiled water, washing your hands often and making sure all food is cooked thoroughly before eating. If you do experience an illness while traveling, speak with a doctor as soon as possible so that you can receive the necessary care and treatment.