Don’t Forget your Shots

When traveling to far and distant places, it’s a good idea to check with the CDC or World Health Organization (WHO) to see what ailments still persist there. In other words, find out what vaccines, boosters, medications, and other safety measures you need to take to keep you safe on your trip.

Your local hospital or provider should have a travel medicine office. You provide a list of the countries that you’re visiting and they can generate a printout of the recommended vaccines and medications.

Most shots are pretty painless. A few leave your arm sore for a few days but it’s a small discomfort for the piece of mind. These days most children are required for school to be vaccinated against Hep A and B, Polio, and MMR.

For our trip, we needed the following:

  • Hep A (2 shots over 6 months, good for life)
  • Hep B (3-4 shots over 12 months, good for life)
  • Typhoid (1 shot, good for 2 years)
  • Tdap (Tetanus) (1 shot, good for 10 years)
  • Yellow Fever (1 shot, good for 10 years)
  • Polio (1 shot, good for life)
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) (1 shot, good for life)
  • Malaria (pills to be taken during and for 1 week after exposure to areas with Malaria)

Note that some vaccinations, such as Hep A and Hep B, need to administered 6-12 months prior to departure, while others need to be administered as a series of shots.

Happy RTW!

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