Nothing’s more exciting than an out-of-country trip with your loved ones. The new food and places you get to experience with your family are second to the cherished memories you will make together.
Making a vacation like this into reality, however, takes a lot of time and careful planning. This includes getting up-to-date with all the necessary shots required for international travel.
Continue reading below to find out how you can protect your child and family when traveling abroad for a successful, stress-free vacation!
Why Travel Vaccines Are Important
The last thing you want to bring home from an out-of-country trip is a preventable disease. Travel vaccines can help you and your family stay healthy during your international vacation. Vaccines prepare your immune system for infectious diseases.
After vaccination, your body becomes better equipped to respond and fight bacteria and viruses. Booster shots work similarly and are given after an initial dose to bolster protection.
Staying on top of the changing travel notices and alerts can help you plan more efficiently when it comes to vaccination. Travel notices include lists of global health risks and cases of diseases developing in certain regions of the world. It also contains medical advice about protective actions you can pursue before traveling to a certain country.
Best Time to Get Travel Vaccines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends completing all necessary vaccinations at least a month in advance. You can plan and contact your healthcare provider for a convenient vaccination plan that includes destination-specific vaccines to protect everyone in your family.
In general, it is never too early to start this process. However, keep in mind that many travel vaccines take time or multiple shots before becoming effective. Some vaccines can be taken on an accelerated schedule or when doses of the travel vaccine are given in a shorter period.
Leaving your travel vaccines to the last minute can be inconvenient on your end, as your primary provider may not have certain vaccines in stock. You will also need to prepare for your pre-travel appointment, where your doctor will assess your medical history and provide medical advice. Rushing through this process is inadvisable and can put your family at unnecessary risk.
Examples of Vaccines Before International Travel
Keeping up with routine U.S. vaccines can make traveling more convenient, especially when traveling with kids. If you are traveling with children, it is important to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date. For children, getting routine vaccines for diseases such as measles and chickenpox decreases the chances of spreading these diseases during or after traveling abroad.
Here’s a partial list of routine vaccines you may need before globe-trotting:
- Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis
- Yellow fever
- Typhoid fever
It’s important to note that not every country requires the same travel vaccine. Another factor that affects your travel immunization plan is the duration of your trip, as well as which areas you are planning to visit. The activities you plan on doing in the country are also taken into account.
You may also experience some side effects after being given travel vaccines. Some include dizziness, slight fever, and redness in the injection site. While these symptoms may be resolved after a day or two, you should inform your healthcare provider if they worsen.
The vaccines you may need will also vary depending on your age and medical history. Certain medical conditions, such as pregnancy and allergies, may also influence which travel vaccines you are eligible for. Inform your healthcare provider of previous vaccines and current medications during your appointment.
Travel Vaccines in Lutz, Trinity, Westchase, and Palm Harbor
Quick out-of-town trips or week-long vacations may bring unseen medical risks, especially if you’re visiting another country. Vaccines mitigate these risks and help protect not just your family but everyone from infectious diseases. Make your holiday less stressful and more enjoyable by planning your travel vaccinations well ahead of time.
The Children’s Medical Center can help you make international trips safer by providing a comprehensive immunization plan for your children that has all the destination-specific vaccines you need to be given before getting approved for international travel. Our immunization plans are aligned with the CDC’s recommendations, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). We can also provide medical advice to help you prepare and ease your mind before your international trip.
Our compassionate and board-certified pediatricians can help you protect your children before you and your family explore a new country and spend quality time together. If you have any questions or concerns about our vaccinations, our friendly staff can be reached at (813) 751-3131 for our Lutz office, or at one of our convenient locations in Trinity, Westchase, and Palm Harbor.
We look forward to keeping you and your family healthy!