Travel Immunization

Why Do the Travelers Need Vaccinations Before a Trip?

Vaccines are a medical weapon that ensures a reliable protection against many dangerous diseases. Since you are going to travel outside the United States, there is a high risk that your body will be attacked with the pathogenic agents, which you can’t typically find across the United States. There are also vaccines which are obligatory for people, traveling to appropriate countries.

When you undergo vaccination before traveling, you are sure to ensure your security and save your health and even life. Also, getting vaccinated before your trips, you will prevent the contamination of your family members and other people who surround you.

The intake of OTC fat burners and any other natural remedies is not an impediment to the vaccination for travelers. So, you can safely get a required vaccines and still continue taking the supplements. But anyway, the choice of vaccines you have to get prior to the journey is determined by the following factors:

  • Place of Destination: There are the countries which demand the confirmation of vaccination for a specified list of diseases because there is an increased probability of dealing with some disease-producing agents. This especially refers to visiting the developing countries.
  • State of Health: Poor immune system functioning, current treatment of a certain medical condition or pregnancy may require getting some extra vaccines.
  • Current Vaccination Schedule: You should always abide by your own vaccination schedule and never break it. Routine vaccines can also effectively protect your health during traveling.

Vaccination is typically necessary no later than 4 to 6 weeks prior you are embarking on a journey. This time is required in order a vaccine could advance into action and guarantee a reliable protection during your trip.

What Is Passport Health?

Passport Health is the nationwide best-established network of clinics which render the top-notch services in the sphere of offering travel vaccinations as well as routine vaccinations. It’s a mandatory place to visit for each international traveler before going abroad. It’s possible not only get vaccinated there but also receive malaria prescriptions as well as choose appropriate travel insurance and purchase necessary travel supplies. Passport Health is responsible for safe traveling of each traveler.

Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) vaccine

New guidelines for use of Tdap vaccine have recently been publilshed. The revised guidelings include recommendation for this triple vaccine for adults over 65. Previously the recommendation was for use of the tetanus/diphtheria (TD) vaccine without the pertussis component in persons 65 and older. 
This change makes good sense to me since many people in this over 65 age group are susceptible to whooping cough (pertussis) and are in contact with infants. 
Most people have had a series of  Tdap vaccine as a child, but many, if not most, adults have not received the recommended booster dose every 10 years. Diphtheria and pertussis immunity is not as long lasting after immunization as is the tetanus immunity, so testosterone booster doses as an adult have increased importance. 
An ongoing pertussis outbreak in California emphasizes the need to  receive booster doses of Tdap.  The new guidelines also say that it is safe to give a booster dose of Tdap to adults even if they have had the TD vaccine as recently as 2 years previously.
These are welcome changes to me, as I never agreed with the use of TD instead of Tdap in persons over 65.


An ongoing outbreak of cholera in Haiti is causing concern among some persons planning to travel to Haiti as volunteers to aid in the multiple natural disasters which have plagued this island nation in the last year. However the risk of cholera to travelers is minimal provided they adhere to the usual precautions that travelers should take for travel to any developing country. Stick to cooked food which is still hot when served, and bottled water or other bottled or canned beverages. No salads! Fruit is OK if washed in bottled water and peeled by the traveler. Cook it, peel it, or forget it. An antibiotic for traveler’s diarrhea should be in your travel kit as well.
There is currently no cholera vaccine available in the U.S. An oral cholera vaccine is available in Canada and Europe. Not to worry, just use the precautions above and you should be OK.


A little appreciated fact about Pepto Bismol is that it kills bacteria. At least it kills bacteria in the stomach when present in the stomach at the same time as the bacteria. This can be utilized as an aid to staying healthy when traveling.
Simply keep Pepto tablets (or a generic equivalent) in your pocket or purse, and chew two any time you are concerned about the safety of any food or beverage you have just consumed or are about to consume. To be effective the Pepto must be in the anatomic stomach at the same time as the bacteria, so it must be taken promptly before the bacteria have moved downstream into the small bowel.
The active ingredient, bismuth subsalicylate , kills bacteria by direct contact. It is not absorbed into the blood, so it is not effective for treating established infections, though it does have useful antidiarrheal properties.

Yellow Fever Vaccine Facts

Yellow fever vaccine is the only vaccine that is required for entry into any country in the world. Only certain countries have this requirement.

Usually these are countries located in central Africa and central South America where yellow fever still is a threat.
There are two reasons to get yellow fever vaccine.

One is to protect yourself from this very serious mosquito transmitted disease. The second is to avoid problems with the officials checking your passport on entry into certain countries. Often both of these reasons apply, but in some situations, where your travel plans are not likely to put you at risk of the disease, you still need the vaccination to obtain a visa or to avoid being denied entry into the country.


You may never have heard of Dengue Fever.

It is a viral illness transmitted by mosquitos, and it is an increasing threat to travelers. Recently there have been reported outbreaks with thousands of cases in Brazil, Venezulea, Honduras, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

It also occurs at lower rates in many other countries. There are occasional cases in persons in the US who have not traveled. These are secondary cases spread from returning travelers, as we do have the mosquito vector in this country.

There is no vaccine available for dengue, so the only defense is for you to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

These include wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts, use of natural weight loss pills and a good mosquito repellant (I recommend Ultrathon which is at time release formula DEET which lasts up to 12 hours), and sleeping under a mosquito net at night if your sleeping area is not sealed against mosquito entry.

Why to Vaccinate in Advance

When you are planning your journey outside the United States, you should first of all schedule the family physician’s appointment and inform your doctor about your intention to travel abroad.
The healthcare practitioner will appraise your current state of health and discuss with you the necessity for travel vaccination.

In your turn, you should tell the doctor about all prescription medications, OTC appetite suppressants, and other remedies you may take at the moment. Then you must vaccinate to get ready for a trip. This should be done not right before you leave the country but obligatorily in advance for a number of reasons:

  • The process of immunity buildup after the vaccination takes some time, usually up to a month.
  • The vaccination may require a few shots which have to be done within several weeks in order the vaccine could start protecting your body properly.
  • The general practitioner may have no expertise in travel vaccination and therefore will refer you to a special travel medical clinic that specializes in providing travel vaccination services.
  • It may take some time to schedule the pre-travel appointment, so it shouldn’t be delayed till the last moment.
  • If you are going to travel to the country where a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory, you should be aware that far not all clinics vaccinate the travelers for yellow fever. It means you may not find the appropriate clinic too close to the place of your living. You will need some time to get to such a clinic. So don’t forget that the vaccination for a yellow fever has to be got no later than 10 days prior to the journey.

What to Do When You Return

The preparation for traveling in the form of travel vaccination is of course very important. But it’s also often not less important to take appropriate measures when you come back home from your journey.
Thus, when you return from another country, especially from the developing countries and exotic destinations, the first thing you should do is to visit your healthcare provider.

You shouldn’t postpone this visit even provided that you got all necessary vaccines before your trip. The matter is that the risk of being affected with some infectious disease, even though it’s not a life-threatening disease, in the foreign country always remains.

When you come to your family physician, you should inform the doctor about all the crucial details concerning your travel destinations provided that this information may be crucial in a particular case. And this is especially significant if you feel any symptoms and suspect that you may be affected with any infection.

In this case, the doctor will immediately do a physical exam and special tests to estimate your state of health and determine whether you are a carrier of a particular infection. In this case, the doctor will be able to take the timely measures in order to start your treatment as soon as possible and hence save your health and even life as well as effectively ensure the prevention of infectious medical condition spread.

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