Ensure You're Protected Before You Travel Off
Recognize your needs are unique
A variety of factors determine what treatments are necessary for you, so it is best to consult a professional as to which immunizations you require. Pregnant women and individuals who are immunodeficient, for instance, have very particular immunization concerns that should be addressed before departure. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a list of all the countries in the world and which vaccinations are recommended for each area. Begin here to get an idea of what you may need, then consult your doctor for more information.
Certain immunizations are expected to be administered regardless of travel. Immunizations against such diseases as hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria are among these. Doctors are expected to administer such vaccinations at the appropriate times in the lives of their patients. However, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, a booster may be required, depending on the travel destination. Consult your doctor to ensure any past vaccinations are up-to-date.
Depending on where you are travelling to and your unique health requirements, additional immunizations may be necessary. A hepatitis A vaccine is often recommended when travelling to developing nations, rural areas or in countries where the disease is regularly present. Those travelling to developing areas may also want to consider an oral vaccine against travellers' diarrhea, such as Dukoral.
Certain vaccines are required by law before you can enter certain countries. Depending on where you are visiting, immunizations against cholera, meningococcal disease and yellow fever may be necessary. You may also require proof of vaccination before entry to the country can be granted.
Many vaccines and medications require a few weeks to a few months to fully kick in. So get a head start on figuring out which ones you need to ensure a safe and healthy trip.
For more information on ensuring your journey is a safe one, check out the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. And never hesitate to ask your doctor for more information on pre-travel vaccinations.