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Are You Traveling Abroad This Summer? Make Sure You Are Up-to-Date with Your Vaccinations

Going on vacation is always an exciting prospect. With COVID-19 travel restrictions lifted around the world, international travel is back and bigger than ever.

If you’re traveling to certain countries, you might need different vaccines or medications than in America, or you might need to update previous vaccines and medications. Dr. Waiho Lum and Dr. Ping Wong, from Forest Urgent Care in Forest Hills, New York, explain how to ensure your vaccinations are ready for your international vacation.

The importance of vaccinations for international travel

In some countries, diseases exist that are eradicated or rare in the United States. Nothing can ruin a dream vacation more quickly than getting sick abroad.

In addition, certain countries require you to have specific vaccinations or medications in order to enter the country. Without proof of these vaccinations, you won’t be allowed to travel to your destination.

One example of this is the yellow fever vaccine, which you’re required to get at least 10 days before you enter many countries in Africa. Additional countries require the vaccine if you recently travelled from a country with yellow fever in the region.

By getting vaccinated, you not only keep yourself safe, you also help others. You might bring dangerous illnesses back to the US or to the locals where you travel.

What vaccines do I need for travel?

The vaccines you need to get depend on several factors, including the countries you’re visiting, the activities you’re doing during the visit, your vaccination history, your age, and your overall health.

Common vaccines you need to travel to certain countries include: 


Our providers might also recommend a booster shot to get you up-to-date on vaccines like tetanus, COVID-19, or the flu.

Sometimes, you need to take or bring medication in addition to getting vaccinated. Antimalarials and anti-diarrhea medications are common requirements that increase both your safety and comfort abroad.

When to get travel vaccines

Some vaccinations and medications need to be taken in advance to ensure optimal effectiveness and safety before travel, or, for vaccines like yellow fever, to be compliant with the country’s entry requirements. Our team recommends starting the process at least a month before your vacation.

However, don’t avoid scheduling an appointment if your travel is in less time. It’s often still possible to get you up to speed in time or work out another plan.

How to get vaccinations and medications for travel

Your general practitioner often doesn’t have all the vaccines and medications on hand for international travel. Instead, we recommend visiting a travel clinic like Forest Urgent Care in advance of your departure, which always has common travel vaccines like yellow fever and typhoid available.

You can prepare for the visit by getting a copy of your health records and vaccination history, and by providing the places you plan to visit, dates, and what you plan to do while abroad. For example, our recommendations can differ if you’re visiting only cites versus going to the rainforest or interacting with animals.

During your visit, our team discusses required and recommended vaccines for your journey. This is based on country-specific advice as well as an assessment of your overall health risk and which vaccinations you’ve already received.

In addition to offering vaccines and medication, our team provides general health advice for travel to your destination. For example, we can tell you if the water is safe to drink, precautions to take around local animals and wildlife, and what to do if you get sick.

Going to a travel clinic before your trip ensures you’re set to relax in comfort and safety white you’re on vacation. To schedule your travel clinic visit, contact us today.

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