OPINION

Health and Wellness… Travel and Immunizations

Lynn RoyerDallas County Public Health

More and more Americans are traveling internationally each year. Taking steps to ensure that you are up to date on all of your routine and travel vaccines before you leave home is as important as packing your bags. Talk with your physician when you are making your plans, especially if you have existing health conditions. You may need to visit a public health or travel clinic to receive the vaccines you need, as not all doctor’s offices provide this service.

Lynn Royer, nurse at Dallas County Public Health offers these tips for international travel.

Make your appointment for immunizations 6-8 weeks prior to international travel. This ensures completion of any vaccine series and helps build your immunity before exposure. To verify which vaccines are recommended for your destination, visit the CDC (Center for Disease Control) Traveler’s Health webpage.

Ask about routine vaccines. Make sure you are up-to-date on the MMR, polio and tetanus vaccines.

Does your destination country require proof of yellow fever vaccine? This vaccine is only available from a registered provider. It must be given at least 10 days before travel.

If you are traveling soon, please call Dallas County Public Health at 515-993-3750 for recommendations.