When most people think of traveling abroad, their first thoughts are about getting or updating an existing passport or visa. However, just as important is the need to obtain the required vaccinations. The required vaccinations are designed to protect those who are traveling as well as those who reside at the travel destination.
Your family physician or the local health clinic can usually provide travelers with the information they need. In particular, three different types of vaccinations are involved.
The first set of vaccinations is the set of routine ones. Routine vaccinations are determined by the age and health of the individuals. This type of vaccination must be up-to-date in order for the individual to be allowed to travel. In most cases, this means that the individuals must have received their booster shots if required. Examples of this type of vaccination are hepatitis B and A, diphtheria, polio, and tetanus.
In general, routine vaccinations have a predetermined number of years in between shots. Other vaccinations to consider getting include Influenza, Meningococcal meningitis, Typhoid Fever, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, and Varicella. In fact, it is best to check with your physician for the names of the vaccinations that your family should get since some new ones have been added to the required list for children.
The second set of suggested vaccinations is the set of recommended ones. These vaccinations are those that would protect an individual if he were to go to a specific destination. In other words, the recommended vaccinations protect travelers against specific diseases. These diseases are ones that the travelers would be more likely to get at the specific destination to which they are traveling.
The third set of vaccinations is the set of required vaccinations. These are the ones that are dictated by international health guidelines. At the present time, a vaccination for yellow fever is the only one that is required and it is only required for individuals who are traveling to South America or sub-Sahara Africa.
It’s important that you allow yourself enough time to get all of the necessary vaccinations. Therefore, you should begin at least four to six months prior to your departure time. Inform your physician of the exact locations where you will be going so that he knows which vaccinations to recommend.