If you're planning a trip to a foreign country this summer, you will need to be current on required vaccinations for visitors. Since different countries have different illnesses, vaccinations will protect you against those you might not encounter at home. To shed more light on this subject, below are answers to common questions about travel vaccinations.
Answers to Common Questions About Travel Vaccinations
Which vaccines do you need?
Vaccination requirements differ from country to country. Visit the searchable traveler's database at the Centers for Disease Control to find out your destination's necessary vaccinations. Also, bear in mind that you should discuss specific travel plans with your doctor. If you're planning to camp in the wilderness, for example, you may benefit from added vaccinations that someone traveling to an all-inclusive spa resort may not need.
When should you get vaccinated?
Start the immunization process at least two months before your departure date. Some vaccinations need to be given in multiple doses over several weeks, so it’s essential to leave yourself enough time to receive the full dose of the medicine.
If you waited until the last minute, can you still get vaccinated?
Yes, vaccines can still offer some protection even if administered shortly before departure. At your appointment, ask your doctor about additional ways to minimize the risk of contracting illnesses while traveling. You want to take extra precautions if the vaccines haven't reached full effect in your body. Your doctor can give you tips on finding safe drinking water, handling food properly, and receiving medical care, if necessary, while traveling.
Can you wait to get vaccinated until you get to your destination?
It's never a good idea to wait. Places that require vaccinations typically want to see proof that you've had the required shots upon entry to the country. Also, some countries may have less effective versions of the vaccinations you'd get stateside, which could leave you with reduced protection against illness.
Kona-Kohala Health Care Services offers travel vaccinations to the Kailua-Kona, HI, area. Board-certified physicians Dr. Donald Nikaitani and Dr. Richard Pekala provide healthcare solutions to help you thrive, from vaccinations and blood work to preventative screenings and management of chronic illnesses. Call (808) 329-1346 or visit them online to schedule an appointment.