Vaccinations For International Travel

Anyone planning to travel internationally should as a priority make plans at the earliest, to visit a medical provider to discuss travel vaccines. The vaccination requirements and recommendations for each country are different, and they also change with time. Expert advice from your physician is essential.

In case you are wondering what’s so important about travel vaccines, they help protect you against various life threatening diseases that are prevalent in different parts of the world. Checking on the international travel vaccines you will need is really the first step in your preparation for a trip overseas. Making sure you have the correct and up to date vaccinations is as important as remembering to bring your passport.  As soon as you decide on the location, go online and check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. You will get comprehensive information about travel vaccines for the place you plan to visit.

Some of the necessary travel immunization shots will need to be taken as much as 6 months before your date of travel. Now you can see why it is important to get this out of the way first. Other vaccines will require a series of shots spaced out over 2 or 3 months. Any travel clinic can help you get your travel vaccines; alternatively your own physician can give them to you or guide you on the right place to go.

There are several routine travel vaccinations that people need to take, but these are age specific and can include: DTap (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis) for children under 7 years of age; Tdap (diphtheria, tetanus, accellular pertussis) for children over 10 years of age and older; MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) for anyone over 1 year of age; Polio – most of us receive the vaccination series as a child but some countries recommend another round; Varicella (chickenpox) required for children – if you’ve had the pox that’s immunity right there; Influenza – the H1N1 virus and other vaccines for children to cover a range of diseases.

For countries that have well known prevalent diseases, the following international travel vaccines are recommended: Hepatitis A and B, typhoid (comes from the salmonella bacteria), yellow fever (vector borne illness spread by mosquitoes), some countries mandate this vaccine by law and you will not be allowed to enter if you do not have the required immunization documentation; Japanese encephalitis vaccine depends on where you travel to and how long you will stay there; meningococcal or meningitis vaccine is for everyone especially when travelling to Africa between December to June; polio vaccine is recommended even if you have already had your shots and rabies for countries that are a high risk in this area.

All travelers should have the necessary vaccinations for travel but it's of even more importance when you're planning an extended stay in the destination country.  If you're studying abroad or have been assigned oversease for business, it's imperative that you take these vaccination precautions.

Research your international destination to find out what necessary overseas travel vaccines are required.  It's no secret Taiwan travel vaccines are different than travel vaccinations for Thailand.  Be sure to talk to your doctor before you do any planning for your trip.