Many international destinations have varying vaccine requirements for visiting travelers. Travel vaccinations may be the last thing families think about when planning an international trip. However, planning ahead for your family’s travel vaccinations will save you a lot of time and future headaches. Don’t wait until the last minute to squeeze in your family’s vaccination appointments. Plan ahead and save yourself needless trouble.
Before you travel, make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccinations. These protect you from infectious diseases like measles that can spread quickly among unvaccinated people. Make an appointment with your healthcare specialist at least one month before you leave.
Your provider can help with destination-specific vaccines, medicine, or other information. They also may recommend early treatments for other diseases your family may encounter abroad like malaria. The Centers for Disease Control has resources and guidelines for travelers as well.
Why Are Vaccines Required for Travel?
You may be wondering exactly why vaccines are required for travel, or which vaccines you’ll need. There are two primary reasons why vaccines are required for international travel.
The first has to do with the varying diversity of microscopic life in different countries. For any number of reasons (immunization rates, water quality, etc.,) certain diseases and conditions may be more common in certain areas than in others. Many of the locals develop individual resistance or immunity to these diseases over time and repeated exposure. As a traveler to a new country, your body will have considerably less time to adapt if not vaccinated prior.
The second reason you and your family may need vaccinations has to do with your own immune history. One of the many great benefits of living in America is the high standard of living we’re afforded. Many once-common diseases have been greatly reduced or eradicated completely with the help of vaccines. This is typically a good thing.
However, it also means people have lessened interactions with certain diseases and build less personal immunity to them. Traveling can expose you and your family not just to new locations and cultures, but new diseases. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Finding Vaccination Requirements for Travel
Vaccination requirements for travel vary depending on the country you’re visiting. Every nation has its own standards and requests for travelers’ vaccination requirements.
The CDC maintains a website directory of travel destinations and the vaccination requirements for each country. This includes additional information, such as if proof of vaccination for travel is required, or other health and safety concerns. Whether you’re going to Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, or anywhere in between, there’s information relevant to your journey.
There are some vaccines you may need to get for the first time. Or, you may need to get a required booster. These vaccines are for illnesses like:
- Flu (Influenza)
- Hepatitis A or B
- Japanese encephalitis
- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
- TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis)
- Yellow Fever
If you have any questions or concerns about vaccines, talk with a medical professional for more information.
Keep Up to Date with Your Vaccines with BASS Medical
Planning ahead for your family’s travel vaccinations is just one step towards a happy, healthy, joyous journey abroad. A viral infection may be the worst souvenir to bring back home from a vacation.
With just minimal preparation, you can make sure such a fate doesn’t befall you or those you care about. If you and your family are traveling abroad and want more vaccine information, consider a consultation with BASS Medical Group. BASS’s board-certified specialists can help with regular vaccinations and other primary care service needs.