Who should consider having travel vaccinations?
Traveling abroad is generally safe, but when you’re exposed to new people, places, and infections, it can pose some health risks. You should ask Dr. Wang or Dr. Duke about travel vaccinations depending on your destination, your planned activities, and your current health status.
If you have a weakened immune system, a chronic condition such as diabetes, or are of a certain age, travel vaccinations are especially important. Your doctor at AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care of Columbia reviews your health and makes any necessary recommendations for vaccinations you need.
Why are travel vaccinations important?
Many parts of the world still have outbreaks of diseases that rarely occur in the United States, including measles or whooping cough. AllCare can provide recommended vaccines so you have less chance of getting and spreading any disease. The practice stocks most needed vaccines, so you can get them in a timely manner.
If you’ll be volunteering with underprivileged members of the community, traveling through crowded places, or coming into contact with foreign food or drink, certain vaccinations are especially important.
When should I schedule my travel vaccinations?
You should talk to the AllCare staff about your travel plans at least one month before you plan international travel. Your body needs time to build up immunity following receipt of the vaccine, and some vaccines are given in stages over the course of a month. For example, the yellow fever vaccine – if required – must be taken 10 days before your travel and is only offered by certain providers. Some countries require you to get the vaccine before entering their borders.
When you discuss travel vaccines, it’s also a good idea to raise the issue of routine vaccines. Make sure you are up to date on vaccines that protect you in the US, such as MMR and tetanus.
Can I just get the vaccines in the country I’m visiting?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you avoid getting vaccinations in another country. You need the vaccination prior to travel to provide you with full protection. Plus, other countries may use different formulas than the US and they aren’t always as effective.
If you plan on traveling abroad, consult AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care of Columbia to review your vaccination schedule. Call the office or schedule an appointment using the online tool.