Nothing can ruin a fun-filled vacation faster than illness. While there’s always a possibility of getting sick or injured wherever you are in the world, there are some precautions you can take to stay healthy while traveling. Getting vaccinations before embarking on your trip can prevent all kinds of ailments, from measles to tetanus.
When discussing travel vaccines, it’s important to realize that these shots aren’t just necessary for exotic destinations. A 2015 outbreak of measles linked to Disney parks proves that you don’t have to be far from home to get sick. This highlights the first essential step of travel vaccine planning: Ensure that all regular vaccinations are up to date.
If you’re going further afield, you may need additional shots to ensure a safe trip. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a useful website that provides vaccine recommendations for every country. If you’re traveling to Belize, for instance, they recommend hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines for “most” travelers. Meanwhile, “some” travelers may also be advised to get shots for hepatitis B, rabies, yellow fever, and malaria.
Several factors differentiate “most” from “some” travelers, and the subsequent suggestions for both. A rabies vaccination is an urgent matter for children who are more prone to play with wild animals, while the need for malaria medication might depend on whether you plan to backpack through the jungle or stay in a five-star hotel.
A travel medicine expert can best advise regarding your unique vaccination needs before a trip. Make sure you consult a professional well in advance, as some vaccines require weeks of incubation time and booster shots before they are effective. While this will add to your travel planning, it’s well worth the effort: With a simple shot, there’s no need to let preventable diseases ruin your vacation.
If you’re planning a trip and aren’t sure whether you need travel vaccines, HealthSmart Vaccines can help. Located in Chantilly, VA, they offer a full range of vaccinations that will keep you fit on your holiday. In addition to comprehensive travel health advice, vaccines, and medications, they also have travel insurance services. To schedule an appointment, contact them online or by calling (703) 961-0733.