Quite often people who travel to other countries face health issues they would not normally experience at home. In order to minimize the risk of becoming seriously ill, it is necessary to find out in advance if there are any specific immunizations required.
Many vaccinations have a gestation period before they are effective. It is advised to take them well in advance of travel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since the human body needs time to build immunity after receiving a vaccine, getting an early start on your immunization is the best way to protect yourself.
The CDC divides travel vaccines into three categories: routine vaccines, the generally recommended vaccines and the required vaccines. The only vaccine classified as “required” by the International Health Regulations is the yellow fever vaccination – for travel to certain countries in Africa and tropical South America.
The “routine” vaccines are the ones that are normally administered, during childhood in the United States. These include immunizations against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, rotavirus and pneumococcus and haemophilus influenza type b.
The “recommended” vaccines are given to travelers to protect them from illnesses that routinely occur in other parts of the world. This would be determined by the doctor depending on the destination, the season you are traveling, your age, overall health status and the immunization history. These vaccines are also country-specific.
Some examples of vaccines that may be recommended for international travelers include Hepatitis A, Rabies and Typhoid vaccinations.
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