If you just booked a vacation, and tell your family or friends about it the question “have you gotten your shots?” will most likely come up. While it may be frustrating to get asked that while trying to talk about your upcoming travels, it truly is a good question. Vaccines protect travelers from serious diseases.
Depending on where you travel, you may come into contact with diseases that are rare in the United States. Many vaccine-preventable diseases that have become rare in the United States, such as measles and pertussis, are still common in other parts of the world. Getting vaccinated will help keep you safe and healthy while you’re traveling, and will help make sure that you don’t bring any serious diseases home to your family, friends, and community.
Which vaccines do I need before traveling?
International travel can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it can also pose many health risks. The type of risks you might face during travel and the vaccines you may need depend on a number of things including:
Where you plan to travel. Some countries require proof of vaccination for certain diseases, like yellow fever or polio. And traveling in developing countries and rural areas may bring you into contact with more diseases, which means you might need more vaccines before you visit.
- Itinerary. The risk for certain diseases can vary greatly from one city or town to another even within one country. It’s important to know as much about your itinerary as possible. This is true whether you are traveling with a guided tour or planning your own visit.
- Your health. If you’re pregnant or have an ongoing illness you may need additional vaccines. If you are taking medications for a condition like diabetes, there may be certain drug interactions you need to be aware of. For example, some drugs may reduce the effectiveness of travel vaccinations.
- The vaccinations you’ve already had. It’s important to be up to date on your routine vaccinations. While diseases like measles are rare in the United States, they are more common in other countries.
How far in advance should I get vaccinated before traveling?
It’s important to plan ahead and get vaccinated at least 4 to 6 weeks before you travel. This will give the vaccines time to start working, so you’re protected while you’re traveling. It will also ensure there’s enough time for you to get vaccines that require more than 1 dose. In addition to getting any recommended travel vaccines, make sure you and your family are up to date on all routine vaccines, such as MMR vaccine, before you travel.
Getting vaccinated may not be something you want to add to your to-do list before traveling, but it is very necessary. Curemed offers travel vaccinations to ensure you’re safe and healthy on your trip! Stop by or contact us today to learn more on how we can help you prepare for your next adventure!