May 8, 2024

Are you planning an international trip? In addition to figuring out all the activities you want to do and booking transportation tickets, you need to also plan for your health and safety. One of the most important things to consider before traveling abroad is whether you need to get any travel vaccines. Here’s everything you need to know about travel vaccines, including which ones you may need and when you should get them.

What Are Travel Vaccines?

Travel vaccines are immunizations that help protect you when traveling internationally. Certain vaccines are required or recommended for travel to specific countries. The reason for this is because some illnesses are more prevalent in other countries than in the United States, and you may come into contact with an illness that you’ve never been exposed to before. Getting the right immunizations before you travel abroad can help you avoid getting sick during your trip and lower the risk of bringing a disease back home to loved ones.

Which Vaccines Are Recommended for Travel?

close up of vaccination shot in arm

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, it is often recommended to get certain travel vaccines before you embark on your international trip. You should make sure you are up to date on all routine immunizations, such as chickenpox, DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), polio, pneumococcal, shingles, flu, COVID, etc. In addition to making sure you’re caught up on routine immunizations, other travel vaccines may also be recommended. The vaccines you need depend on your travel destination. For example, typhoid and hepatitis A vaccines are recommended when traveling to Southeast Asia. Yellow fever and malaria vaccines are recommended when traveling to certain parts of Africa and South America. Recommended travel vaccines may include:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow fever
  • Rabies
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Tick-borne encephalitis
  • Cholera
  • Malaria

When Should I Get Travel Vaccines?

It is typically recommended to get your travel vaccines at least four to six weeks before your trip. It can take several days or weeks for your body to build up adequate immunity after receiving a vaccine. Additionally, many immunizations require more than one dose, so you need to make sure you have enough time to get all the doses before you travel. If you are traveling to a country where hepatitis A is common, you should plan to get that vaccine several months in advance. This is a two-dose vaccine that is given six months apart, and allowing enough time to get both doses will provide the most protection against the disease. However, if you don’t have enough time to get both doses, just receiving the first dose will provide some protection.

Get Your Travel Vaccines at Hines Street Pharmacy

Here at Hines Street Pharmacy, we offer the vaccines you need to help you protect yourself and your loved ones from disease. If you have any questions about travel vaccines or you’re ready to get immunizations for an upcoming trip, please reach out to us or stop by to learn more about getting the vaccines you need at our local pharmacy.