Looking for the travel shots that you will need for trip outside the United States? Then, use our website's convenient Destinations Map to access information about each country listed on your travel itinerary. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) divides travel immunizations into the following three (3) categories: "Routine", "Recommended" and "Required" vaccinations. Currently, the only vaccine that is Required* by International Health Regulations is the yellow fever shot for travel to certain countries in Africa and South America where the disease is endemic. The Recommended immunizations that you need will depend upon many factors such as the time of the year that you will be traveling to a particular country, what activities you have planned and personal information like your age, health status and existing shot records.
*Required travel vaccinations can be enacted by any individual country and those requirements can change quickly in response to epidemic and endemic threats, so it is very important discuss your entire trip itinerary with your travel doctor.
Visiting A Travel Doctor
Once you have determined which travel shots are recommended for trip abroad, the next step is to make an appointment with a qualified travel doctor who can review your trip itinerary, conduct a thorough examination and help you decide which travel immunizations will provide you the protection needed to stay healthy during your trip. In general, you should schedule your initial visit with a travel doctor about 4 to 6 weeks prior to your departure date. This provides ample time for the travel immunizations to take effect. If you or a member of your travel party suffers from a chronic disease, have a compromised immune system, are older than 60 years of age or younger than 9 months, are pregnant, or have other ongoing health issues, you should see a travel doctor sooner than later in case an alternative treatment plan is needed.
Problems With Travel Vaccines
Most Travel Vaccines do not cause health problems and are well tolerated when administered by a qualified travel doctor. Some types of malaria drugs have been reported to cause unpleasant side effects but your travel doctor can discuss your options based upon your specific risk factors. If you have egg allergies or any allergies to medications, you need to let your travel doctor know as some travel shots should be totally avoided. Often travel to the urban and more developed areas of a region with endemic diseases do not require travel immunizations and your doctor can explain how to use other precautions to stay safe and healthy during your trip. One of the most important preventative steps is to ensure that you are up to date on all "Routine" immunizations that are required in the United States. Many of diseases that have been eliminated in our country are still a major health threat in other areas of the world.
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