Vaccines for International Travelers
Protect Yourself from Travel Health Risks by Vaccinating
If you are preparing for travel outside of the U.S. — whether it is for vacation, business, or to visit loved ones — find out which vaccines you need to protect yourself from diseases that you may be exposed to in other countries.
Your risk of becoming ill while traveling depends on:
- where you are traveling
- how long you are staying
- activities you have planned
- your health status
- your vaccine history.
Health risks are higher in certain countries and rural areas because of differences in sanitary conditions, food and water sources, diseases circulating, and immunization coverage. Many vaccine-preventable diseases rarely seen in the U.S. are still causing outbreaks of disease in other parts of the world.
Immunization is one of the best ways to protect yourself while traveling and avoid illness that could ruin your trip or come home with you.
STEP 1: Make sure you are up-to-date with all routine vaccinations. All adults in the U.S. need certain vaccines based on age, job, hobbies, or chronic health condition. Talk with your doctor or healthcare professional and get any vaccines that you may have missed.
STEP 2: Visit the CDC Travel Health site for more information about recommendations and requirements for the locations you will be visiting during your travel.
STEP 3: Make an appointment to get recommended vaccines at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Planning ahead will give you enough time to build up immunity and get best protection from vaccines that may require multiple doses.
Many state and local health departments throughout the United States provide travel vaccinations. You can also find directories of private travel clinics through the International Society of Travel Medicine.
For additional information on smart travel and packing a travel health kit, see Immunization for Travelers fact sheet[1 page].
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