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Before You Travel Make Sure You Get Your Shots

If you are planning on traveling to somewhere exotic either for business or pleasure you might want to check into which vaccinations you need for international travel.  As part of your to-do list you should check with the CDC to see what vaccinations you need if any.  The CDC groups vaccinations into three categories, routine, recommended and required.  So before you travel make sure you get your shots, malaria isn’t going to be pleasant.

Routine Innoculations

These are the normal vaccines you got as a child, such as those for measles, mumps and tetanus.  If you’re an adult now then you may need a booster, most vaccines only last for a decade or so.  This is a good time to make sure that all of your shots are completely up to date.

Recommended Innoculations

These types of vaccines are largely dependent on where you are traveling to, for instance if you are heading to Europe there are only a couple of recommended vaccines.  Europe has health standards much like our own.  The CDC may only recommend you get the hepatitis vaccines.  If you are traveling to Africa, particularly a rural part then the number of vaccines is far longer.  For that type of travel you will need vaccines against malaria, typhoid and rabies.  Those are illnesses that we don’t have to worry much about in the US.  Here are some of the vaccines you may need.

Your age, the time of year and your overall health and what you plan to do at your destination are all going to play a role in the vaccines that you need.  After checking with the CDC to find out what is recommended based on your destination then it is time to have a conversation with your primary care doctor to see what they recommend as well.

Mandatory Vaccines

Some countries won’t even let you in unless you have the mandatory vaccines.  For example if you are traveling to Saudi Arabia during the Hajj then the meningococcal vaccine is a must or if you are traveling to parts of South America you need to be immunized against yellow fever.

When to Get Vaccinated

Once you have your travel plans laid out then it is time to book an appointment with your doctor.  Some vaccines need a month or more for them to be effective, while others require a series of shots.  Nobody enjoys getting their shots but you will enjoy having a vaccine preventable disease far less.

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