Vaccinations & Immunization Shots for International Travelers
Our International Travel Vaccine & Immunization Clinic offers pre-travel health services for any international destination. All travel medications are administered by our experienced medical clinic professionals.
In addition to immunization shots, we provide personalized counseling on international travel health risks and requirements specific to your travel destination and planned activities. During your appointment with us, we supply you with recommendations for preventative care measures and medication while traveling.
To make an appointment with our International Travel Vaccination Clinic, please call 703.717.7851.
Special Vaccination Requirements & CDC Recommended Travel Vaccines
Before traveling outside the United States, it’s important to review your vaccination schedule with your primary care physician. This should be done as far in advance as possible so that any special travel vaccinations can be scheduled and given.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, www.cdc.gov) recommends if you are planning to travel to review the vaccines below with your health-care provider at least 4 to 6 weeks before travel begins.
However, even if you are within the 4 week window recommended by the CDC, vaccination is still often your best method to prevent certain communicable diseases. Our medical professionals can discuss what is appropriate at your visit.
Some vaccines can’t be given at the same time as others. Some require more than 1 dose, and some must be given as much as 1 month before travel to be protective. These vaccines are not for all people, and there may be specific situations in which they should not be used.
The Primary Vaccine Series
Regardless of your overseas travel destination, adults should have completed the primary series of all childhood vaccines. A booster of the adult tetanus-diphtheria (Td) is recommended every 10 years. If an adult has not yet received a tetanus booster containing the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine known as Tdap, he or she should receive that vaccine instead of a Td booster alone. After the one-time administration of the Tdap vaccine, the Td alone every 10 years is appropriate.
Additional Recommended Vaccines
The CDC divides travel vaccines into routine, recommended, and required categories. We will review all categories with you, specific to the area where you will be traveling.
The following is a list of vaccines to be considered:
- A yearly influenza (flu) vaccine is recommended by the CDC for everyone age 6 months and older.
- Two pneumococcal vaccines are also recommended for people 65 years or older and for other people at high risk (those with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, lung problems including asthma, kidney problems, or problems with their immune systems).
- Infants, children, and adults traveling to countries where polio is still active, and staying for more than 4 weeks, should get age-appropriate polio vaccines or a polio booster within 12 months before travel.
- Two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine are recommended for people born after 1956 who are traveling outside the United States.
- Yellow Fever vaccination may be required for travel to certain countries in Africa and is recommended for several areas in South America. A certificate of vaccination may also be needed. (NOTE: the yellow fever vaccine is not expected to be available until later this year)
- Hepatitis B should be considered for people who will be in an area where high rates of hepatitis B exist. This includes Asia, Africa, some areas of the Middle East, the islands of the South and Western Pacific, some areas of South America, and certain areas in the Caribbean (such as the Dominican Republic and Haiti). Children who have not received this vaccine previously should do so. For those who have completed the primary vaccination series, a booster is not recommended.
- Hepatitis A and/or immune globulin (IG) is recommended for travelers to all areas where there is significant risk of hepatitis A, even for travelers staying in urban areas and luxury hotels in those regions. For those who have completed the primary vaccination series, a booster is not recommended.
- Typhoid vaccine is recommended for travelers spending time in areas where food and water precautions are recommended, including South Asia (which has some drug-resistant forms) and in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.
- Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for people traveling to sub-Saharan Africa during the dry season (from December to June), and is required for visitors to Saudi Arabia during the Hajj, especially if anticipating close contact with locals.
- Japanese encephalitis vaccination or tick-borne encephalitis vaccine should be considered by those undertaking long-term travel or who plan to live in areas of risk, including rural farming areas.
- Rabies vaccination may be needed if you will be in unprotected rural outdoor areas where rabies is common and may be exposed to wild animals.
- Currently, the risk for cholera is very low for people visiting areas with epidemic cholera when simple precautions are observed, including drinking and using safe water, cooking foods safely, and thorough hand-washing. The cholera vaccine is not very effective, is not recommended for most travelers, and is not available in the U.S.
- Travelers to countries with malaria are advised to take anti-malarial drugs (also called malaria prophylaxis which is medicine to prevent malaria). However, none of the anti-malarial treatment medications are completely effective and international travelers in areas of risk must also use personal protective measures including insect repellent, long sleeves, long pants, sleeping in a mosquito-free setting or using an insecticide-treated bed net.
Available Vaccines & Immunization Shots & Medications
For travel to Africa, including but not limited to:
- South Africa
For travel to Central and South America, including but not limited to:
- Costa Rica
For travel to the Middle East and Asia, including but not limited to: