When to Schedule Your Travel Vaccines

When to Schedule Your Travel Vaccines

International travel is exciting, but the diseases you may come in contact with aren’t. Even if you’re young and healthy, exposure to foreign pathogens that your body has never encountered can cause serious illness.

At Calvary Urgent Care in Humble, Texas, Dr. Joseph Goin and our team offer travel vaccines to keep you safe wherever your travels may take you. Here, we take a closer look at the types of vaccines you may need and when you should schedule them prior to your journey.

Check vaccine requirements at your destination

Many countries require visitors to show proof of certain vaccines before they’re allowed to enter. This is for your own health and safety, as well as that of their citizens. 

Some diseases tend to be common in certain countries but not others. For example, if you live in the United States, you don’t need to be vaccinated against yellow fever, but if you travel to Ghana or Brazil, where a mosquito bite can land you in the hospital with fever, chills, and body aches that can progress into a debilitating and even fatal illness, a vaccine can help you avoid that tragedy. 

The World Health Organization offers a list of infectious diseases that may threaten travelers to specific regions, so make sure you check the latest information about your destination. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website also offers valuable, up-to-date travel health notices that can alert you to emerging health dangers before you travel. 

When to schedule your travel vaccines

Vaccines, by nature, take a little time to work in your system. A small dose of a live or an inactivated virus or bacterium is injected into your bloodstream, where it triggers an immune response in your body. 

This generates the production of antibodies to fight that infection, and your body keeps a supply of these cells in storage in case you ever encounter the same pathogen again in the future.

Some vaccines require more than one dose in a series or require a booster dose later in life. Your age, overall health, medical history, and vaccine record all influence the type of vaccines you may need to travel and when you should get them. 

The general rule of thumb is to schedule your necessary shots about 4-6 weeks ahead of your departure. This allows your immune system to respond, provides a window of time to watch for possible negative reactions, and makes time for a second dose if necessary. 

Where to get travel vaccinations

Not all doctors offer all vaccines you may need to travel. At Calvary Urgent Care, we provide the most frequently required vaccines, including hepatitis A and B, meningococcal meningitis, and typhoid fever, as well as preventive medication for malaria.

We can also order vaccines that we don’t normally have in stock, so let us know as far in advance of your trip as possible. 

If you’re planning a trip and need a vaccine, schedule an appointment at Calvary Urgent Care by calling our office 832-680-2273, emailing us, or walking in whenever it’s convenient. Safe travels!

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