Thinking of Traveling Out of the Country Soon? Here Are a Few Things to Know About Travel Vaccines

The benefits of travel vaccines

Our immune systems are pretty amazing, producing many of the antibodies our bodies need to battle a large number of common germs that otherwise could cause serious disease. But as good as our immune systems are, they can’t provide immunity against every disease we encounter. Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies for diseases for which we have no or limited natural immunity.

During childhood, vaccines are common occurrences, giving us the “boost” our immune systems need to be strong and effective in fighting off a lot of “childhood diseases” that once were considered life-threatening. For some of those vaccines, we may need “booster” shots during adulthood as well. These vaccines address the infections and diseases we’re most likely to encounter here in the U.S. But when we travel, we can wind up encountering other types of germs for which our bodies have absolutely no natural immunity. Having travel vaccines prior to leaving the U.S. can help ensure you’re able to battle these “new” germs and avoid infection. What’s more, depending on where you’re traveling, the U.S. may require you to have certain vaccines to prevent you from bringing harmful infections back to the U.S.

Types of travel vaccines

At Warner Plaza Urgent Care, we offer several types of travel vaccines so you can get the correct immunizations you need to stay healthy. Some of the most common travel vaccines include:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow fever

Your specific vaccine schedule will depend on your travel itinerary and other factors, like the potential health risks in the area you’re traveling to. For instance, if you’re traveling to an area where there’s a high risk of malaria, you’ll need to receive antimalarial vaccinations as well. If your travels take you to areas where rabies is prevalent, including some remote areas where you may come in close contact with bats, wild dogs, or other animals, we would recommend a rabies vaccine. Children have different risk profiles compared to adults, so travel vaccines for kids may include additional immunizations.

Scheduling a pre-travel office visit

To make sure you and your family members get the right vaccines, during your visit you should be ready to discuss:

  • Where you’re traveling
  • When you’re traveling
  • Your health history
  • Your vaccination history

In addition to getting vaccines specific to your travel, we can make sure your regular vaccinations are up to date as well.

When making travel plans, it’s a good idea to make an appointment as early as possible to find out if you need vaccines, and if you do, which ones are recommended or required. By scheduling an office visit when you begin making your travel plans, you avoid surprises and you can also make sure the vaccines you get are administered in the correct time frame. In most cases, you should have your vaccines about four to six weeks before traveling to give your body the time it needs to build up immunity. Plus, because some vaccines require more than one dose, starting early allows your doctor to space the vaccines appropriately.

Travel healthy with the right vaccines

At Warner Plaza Urgent Care, we want all our patients to get the most from their travel experiences. During your visit, our team will discuss your travel plans with you and make additional recommendations to keep you safe and healthy throughout your travels. To learn more about travel vaccines or to schedule a consultation, contact the practice today.