According to the “American Family Physician”, each year as many as 45 million Americans travel abroad, with about 20 million of them spending time in rural areas or developing countries, locations where the risks of contracting an illness are great. A study of travelers illustrated that on a typical two-week trip, travelers "lost" an average of three days because of illness. Almost 20 percent of them remained ill after their return home, and 10 percent sought medical care for their illnesses.

Have you scheduled a visit to your doctor or a travel medicine provider?

Ideally, set up one up 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Most vaccines take time to become effective in your body and some vaccines must be given in a series over a period of days or sometimes weeks. If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. You might still benefit from shots or medications and other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) divides vaccines for travel into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. While your doctor will tell you which ones you should have, it's best to be aware of them ahead of time.

Routine Vaccinations

Be sure that you and your family are up to date on your routine vaccinations. These vaccines are necessary for protection from diseases that are still common in many parts of the world even though they rarely occur in the United States. If you are not sure which vaccinations are routine, ask one of our physicians.

Recommended Vaccinations

These vaccines are recommended to protect travelers from illnesses present in other parts of the world and to prevent the importation of infectious diseases across international borders. The vaccination you need depends on your destination, whether you will be spending time in rural areas, the season of the year, your age, health status, and previous immunization history.

You can go to the CDC web-site and search by country to find out which vaccinations are recommended.

Required Vaccinations

The only vaccine required by International Health Regulations is yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Meningococcal vaccination is required by the government of Saudi Arabia for annual travel during the Hajj.

For more information on travel vaccinations you can please go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention web-site:

Please call 281-249-2273 to schedule your appointment today.