- Why do people need vaccines? What is immunization? What is immunity?
- How can people become immune (protected)?
- Are there different types of vaccines?
- Can people receive multiple vaccinations during one visit to the doctor?
- Are there any dangers to being immunized?
- Can people with severe egg allergies still get an annual influenza vaccination?
- What reactions are likely after an immunization?
- Who should not receive a vaccine?
- What vaccines can women receive while pregnant?
- What are invalid reasons for postponing vaccination?
- Why do people keep getting vaccines if the numbers of cases of the vaccine preventable diseases are at a record low in the United States?
- Is there any financial help for people who have been injured by vaccines?
- Is there anything different that health-care workers need to do compared with non-health-care workers?
- Do people need any additional vaccinations for foreign travel?
- Where can people find additional information on immunizations?
Do people need any additional vaccinations for foreign travel?
There are a number of vaccines that are not routinely given in the U.S. that are recommended for foreign travel. Which vaccines a person needs completely depends on the country to which he or she is traveling. The CDC has a web site that is constantly updated with recommendations for vaccines (http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/). People can learn about recommended vaccines by simply navigating to the country they plan to visit. These vaccines can then be obtained from many local health departments or travel clinics.
Travelers going to sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America are required by International Health Regulations to have yellow fever vaccination. All other vaccines are simply recommended to protect the traveler. Common vaccines given for foreign travel include hepatitis A vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, and typhoid vaccine. U.S. citizens who have not received their recommended (routine) vaccinations (Tdap, MMR, polio, etc.) should make sure that they get all routinely recommended vaccines before traveling. Many of these diseases are still very common in other parts of the world. For instance, people going to Mecca on the Haj are required to be vaccinated against meningitis.
Where can people find additional information on immunizations?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site for vaccines and immunizations at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/default.htm. This is updated annually in the fall of the year.
- Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: The Pink Book: Course Textbook Updated 12th Edition (May 2012) at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/index.html
- Recommendations on immunization for health-care workers at http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2017.pdf
- Traveler information: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/
Medically reviewed by a Board Certified Family Practice Physician
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Immunization & Pregnancy." <http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/downloads/f_preg_chart.pdf>.