Trips and Vaccines: What to Look For

Traveling to other countries may mean a chance to work, volunteer, have fun, relax and also, potentially be exposed to diseases. To prevent them, the best thing to do is protect yourself by getting the vaccines necessary per the area that you are traveling.

Review your personal vaccination records before your trip.

Vaccines are crucial to prevent diseases and their importance is even greater when it comes to travel abroad. Keep in mind that there are diseases already eradicated in some areas of the world, but very alive in others. Also, airports and aircrafts can expose you to unexpected illnesses.

Some points to review: 

  • Do not forget that certain vaccines are less effective over time and you might need a booster.
  • It is important to get the suggested shots BEFORE traveling. Ideally, consult your doctor 4 to 6 weeks in advance.
  • Generally, vaccines need time to take effect in the body, sometimes they are applied in a series for days or weeks. You should always consult your doctor, even if your trip is unexpected or do not have 4 weeks prior to taking off. Instead you can take medications or information about prevention of illness or injury while away.
  • Check that all travelers have the suggested vaccines for the trip prior to travel. If you do not suffer from an illness, but your travel partner does, the trip will be ruined for both.

No doubt traveling with the suggested vaccines gives you peace of mind, especially when getting on the plane.
Types of travel vaccinations:
Travelers should keep in mind three types of vaccines: routine vaccines, ones suggested by your doctor and the mandatory vaccines.

Routine immunizations:

These vaccines are used to protect travelers from diseases that are still common in many parts of the world, even when they may not be specifically common in our country (i.e.: rubella, measles). Therefore, be sure to check your home country’s immunization schedule for adults and children.

Suggested Vaccinations

These types of vaccines are suggested in order to protect travelers from illnesses present at the arrival destination. Beyond the recommendations of international organizations, nothing will be better than a consultation with your doctor, because the real need will depend on several factors such as the season of the year, your age, your general health condition and your medical history.

Mandatory vaccinations:

Some countries require travelers to have certain vaccines upon entering, so it is always recommendable to check with the embassy or consulate to make sure you have all the necessary information. Your doctor may provide more information about side effects if there are any.

For suggested or mandatory vaccines in any country of destination, enter here.
 

Date of publication Nov 24 2013

Other articles on this subject

Traveling to a country where malaria is a risk
Yellow fever and the International certificate of vaccination
Air travel and jet lag
Travelling when pregnant
Health tip: how to avoid food poisoning
Before the departure: medical precautions
Health and travel: forewarned is forearmed!