Timeline for Travel Immunizations from a Primary Care Physician

Travel Immunizations New York, NY

Travel Immunizations can protect people who visit other countries. Getting the shots you need can help protect you and your loved ones when you travel abroad. It may take time to complete them. That is why you must work with your primary healthcare provider in setting your vaccine timeline before you leave. Here are the details from a primary care doctor on the timeline for travel immunizations.

Hepatitis A

The infected blood and stool from other people can cause Hepatitis A, which can lead to liver disease. A person with this disease can infect other people. One can get this type of hepatitis by consuming contaminated food and drinks or having sexual intercourse with an infected person. Living with an infected person or transferring the virus from a contaminated object to the mouth can also lead to this disease.

Hepatitis A is common in many countries. Anyone who had hepatitis before or does not have a vaccine can catch this virus. Rural areas with poor sanitation are likely to have hepatitis A. Individuals who are at least six months old and are set to travel to countries with this disease must have travel immunizations.

An individual will get two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine. The traveler can get the two doses if the travel schedule allows it. If not, the individual can get the first dose right before departure. Babies six to 11 months old must have hepatitis A vaccination as well.

Chicken pox

The Centers for Disease Control stresses the importance of two chicken pox vaccines for adults, kids, and teens who never had this disease before and never received shots for it. They can get two doses, 28 days apart. Children often get the first dose at 12-15 months old. The second dose would be at four to six years old. The primary care doctor can receive the second dose at least three months after taking the first dose.

People with weakened immune systems do not have protection against chicken pox. These individuals are those with HIV and cancer. Patients who take low-dose steroids have a high risk of catching chicken pox as well. Talking to a doctor first before taking the travel immunizations for chicken pox is ideal. Doing so can give these travelers the right dose at the right time before leaving.


Many parts of the world have the meningococcal disease. Anyone who travels to these places can get it. This disease is common in sub-Saharan Africa from December to June. These months make up the dry season. Travelers who spend most of their travel time in the meningitis belt of Africa will likely end up having this illness. Those who participate in the Umrah or Hajj pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia can get sick.

Pre-teens and teens in the U.S. often get the MenACWY vaccine for meningococcal disease. These young people get the booster at 16 years old. Individuals 16 to 18 years old can get the MenB. It may take seven to 10 days after the booster for the individual to have enough protection. Working with a primary care doctor can help travelers get the shot before leaving. Those traveling to Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage must present a MenACWY proof of vaccination.


Some countries still suffer from polio. People with out-of-date polio shots are at risk of having polio. Travelers who have updated polio vaccines but will visit a country will high polio cases may need a single polio booster for adults. Knowing if the destination country is polio-stricken can help increase one’s level of preparation.


Central and South America, as well as Africa and Asia, have rabid dogs. Dog bites are the most common method of rabies transmission. Any mammal can carry rabies, but since dogs come in close contact with humans, they become the primary cause of the spread of this disease. Long-term travelers, explorers, and people who work with animals are the most vulnerable.

Knowing which countries have large cases of rabies can help travelers decide to have travel immunizations for it. Australia, Japan, and Canada, as well as the United States and most of Europe, have rare cases of rabies. A rabies shot has two doses. After the first dose, the traveler must wait seven days to get the second one. If the individual gets scratched or bitten while having the vaccine, immediate medical attention is a must. Two booster shots will come right away.

Knowing when you should get your travel immunizations can help you prepare earlier

Preparing well for your journey involves making your health your top priority. You can get your travel immunizations from your local primary care clinic before your set departure. Working with a primary care doctor there can schedule your shots earlier. This can help you complete your travel documents for your destination country without pressure.

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