Check your vaccines needed before international travel.

Check your vaccines needed before international travel.

What are your views about vaccines? Are you up-to-date? When was your last check-up appointment with your primary care provider?

What exotic locations are on your bucket list?

There has been a lot of discussion, many articles, and many opinions shared about vaccination.

Vaccines protect you from communicable diseases. Vaccines also protect other people. For each kind of vaccine, there are some people who have medical conditions that prevent them from receiving the vaccine. So, they rely on those around them to not have the disease and spread it to them.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) monitors diseases across the country and the world. Viruses and bacteria can change over time. If these changes make a former vaccine less effective, then guidelines change. So, your vaccine needs change based on these recommendations.

Then there is the issue of travel. Different parts of the world pose risk of various diseases.

I have been updating my understanding of the importance of travel vaccines as I prepare for this medical mission trip to Jamaica. The vaccines recommended for Jamaica are different than those recommended for other areas.

I heard a very sad story recently about two very charitable and successful brothers who traveled to Ghana. One chose to not take precautions for malaria. Once home he acquired a fever and felt poorly.   He saw his doctor who gave him some self care strategies. His condition then declined further. Once it was realized he had malaria, it was too late. So, when you do travel abroad and become ill, immediately tell healthcare providers exactly where you have been. In the US we so rarely see some diseases that we don’t look for them.

I encourage you to travel and explore the world! I also highly encourage you to talk with your doctor and your local pharmacist about any travel vaccines you should obtain prior to your travels. You can learn more about CDC recommendations at this link.

As fall approaches we will talk more about flu, pneumonia, and shingles vaccines in more detail. These are important even if you don’t travel.

For more information about vaccines, please contact us at

For further application, check out my personal blog.

Image source: Centers for Disease Control, Department of Health & Human Services, US Public Health Service