When you plan a trip outside the country, you should include getting travel vaccines as part of your preparations. In order to keep your children and yourself safe during trips abroad, check to see that all routine immunizations are current. Some countries require certain vaccines in order for visitors to travel safely.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers check with their doctors well in advance of taking a trip outside the United States. Preparing in advance allows your body the opportunity to build up immunity. Some vaccines take more than one injection or dose. Several weeks may be needed to complete some types of vaccines.
Getting your vaccinations at least a month before you plan to leave will ensure that you have enough time for the vaccines to be effective. Planning will prevent you from missing out and possibly from becoming gravely ill.
Wondering Which Vaccines You Need?
The vaccines you will need for your trip depend on your destination. Some countries have requirements and other places may not require vaccines, but it may be in your best interest to get immunized against known diseases. Many European countries have a list of mandatory vaccines, while others recommend them but do not require them. These include:
- Mumps, measles, rubella
- Hemophilus influenza type B
- Hepatitis B
Developing countries and rural areas may be home to diseases for which you will want to be vaccinated. Measles has not been a concern in the United States for decades, but it is common in some other countries. If you are taking your child to a country that is known to have this disease, it is important that he or she gets immunized before leaving home.
Some countries may require visitors to have proof of a yellow fever vaccine. The vaccine is limited and only carried by certain clinics. It is not unusual for people to travel quite a distance from home in order to receive the vaccination, and it needs to be administered at least ten days before departure to your destination. Some countries also require proof of polio vaccination.
Better Safe Than Sorry
World travel is an amazing experience. Stay healthy by checking to find out which vaccinations are recommended for the areas you will be visiting. Start the process early so you will have time to plan for getting vaccinated, especially when more than one dose is needed or, as in the case of the yellow fever vaccine, the immunization is hard to obtain.
We want all our patients to stay as healthy as possible. If you plan to travel abroad, let us know and we will help you get the immunizations you need for safe, healthy travel.