Travel Vaccines: Which Vaccinations You Need and Where To Get Them

Many vaccine-preventable diseases that have become rare in the United States, such as measles and pertussis, are still common in other parts of the world. Certain activities, such as attending crowded events, can increase the spread of infectious disease. No matter where you plan to go, you should get recommended travel vaccines to lower your chances for getting and spreading disease. Getting recommended (or required when traveling to certain destinations) travel vaccines are safe, effective ways to help protect travelers from bringing home more than they bargained for.

What Are Travel Vaccinations?

Travel vaccines, also called travel immunizations, are shots travelers can get before visiting certain areas of the world that help protect them from serious illnesses. Vaccinations work by exposing the body to a germs or parts of germs of the disease it will protect against. You can’t get the disease from the vaccine because the viruses or bacteria are dead or severely weakened. The body responds to the vaccination by making antibodies that will protect you if you are exposed to the disease in the future.

Which Travel Vaccines or Travel Medicine Do I Need?

Routine vaccines are the standard child and adult immunizations recommended for the general U.S. population. Many people are not up to date on their adult immunizations, such as the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccination. Because diseases such as measles, which breaks out every now and then, can be extremely common in other countries, routine vaccines sometimes become very important when traveling abroad. Make sure you and your family are up-to-date before your trip.

Recommended vaccines are travel vaccinations that can protect you in areas where there is an intermediate or high risk for contracting certain illnesses. They also help prevent the spread of diseases from one country to another.

Required vaccines are travel vaccinations that you are required to get prior to traveling to certain locations. For example, the yellow fever vaccine may be required for travel to certain parts of Africa and South America. Saudi Arabia also has a meningococcal vaccine requirement during the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Travel medicine can be prescribed to treat or avoid certain conditions including Traveler’s Diarrhea, Malaria, Dengue Fever, Altitude Sickness, or Motion Sickness. Traveling to developing countries, remote areas, tropical climates and high altitudes increases your risk of these conditions. A travel medicine specialist can help you and your family get the travel medicine you need. Your travel doctor will also provide you with necessary information on medication allowances for both regular prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

Where Can I Get Travel Vaccines?

Travel vaccines and travel medicine is available at travel clinics and can be administered by a travel medicine specialist. Travel clinics can help you know health risks when traveling abroad. As well as how to stay healthy so you can spend your time adventuring rather than sick in bed. Knowing how to prevent illness and having the necessary medical supplies handy can help you avoid ruining your trip or returning with a life-long illness.

Travel clinics go beyond offering travel vaccinations. Patients receive consultations on reducing risks from food, water, parasitic diseases, and insect-transmitted illnesses, such as malaria and dengue fever. They can get tips on fighting jet lag, preventing altitude sickness, and packing an emergency medical kit. Additionally, individuals with HIV, organ transplant recipients or others with serious conditions can get care tailored for their needs.

When Do I Need To Get Travel Vaccines?

Many travel immunizations need to be given in a series of shots given over a period of days or weeks. Plus, vaccines take time to work. So travel health experts recommend giving yourself 4 to 6 weeks to meet with a travel health provider. This will provide enough time to create a personalized travel health plan and to get any needed travel vaccinations. If you don’t have 4 weeks until your trip, it is still advised to see a travel medicine specialist ASAP. They can still provide some preventable vaccines and travel medicine you need. As well as offer valuable travel health information to help you and your family stay safe.

Travel Medicine Clinic in Chicago

If you are searching for travel medicine in Chicago, choose Dedication Health. As a travel medicine clinic and concierge medicine practice, Dedication Health can provide you and your family with the travel health services you need before and after you trip. Dedication Health’s specially-trained onsite Travel Medicine specialist, Santiago A. Candocia, MD, FACP, will equip you and your family with the knowledge and preventative care that you need to feel safe on your next trip. Dr. Candocia will work with you to make sure that your family is educated on the latest travel health and safety precautions, specific to your itinerary. Dr. Candocia and team will also ensure that all appropriate tests are conducted, vaccinations administered and prescriptions ordered prior to your family’s departure to a new destination.

Call 847-986-6770 or complete our contact form to get in touch with a travel medicine specialist in Chicago. Dedication Health is located at 710 Oak St, Winnetka, IL 60093. To learn more about travel medicine, browse the recommended links below.

Travel Health: What You Need to Know Before You Go

What is Travel Medicine?

Why You Need to See a Travel Medicine Specialist Before Leaving the Country