Vaccines for Travelers

Millions of Americans travel to other countries each year. If you’re going to foreign countries, you may need to get additional shots.

Make sure that all your vaccines are up-to-date. You should have protection against:

  • Tetanus and diphtheria
  • Chickenpox
  • Polio
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella

Depending on where you’re going, you may need more vaccines. These include vaccines for:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Yellow fever
  • Typhoid fever
  • Flue
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Rabies

Children and adults with medical conditions may need further vaccines.

Vaccines for Special Situations

children, seniors, and travelers to foreign countries need protection with additional vaccines. But, so do some other people:

Healthcare workers

Healthcare workers need up-to-date vaccinations, because they’re often exposed to infectious diseases. Most healthcare workers need the flu vaccine. Anyone who might be exposed to blood should also get the hepatitis B vaccine.

People with medical conditions

People with chronic medical conditions often need additional vaccines. These groups have a higher risk of complications, if they get these respiratory illnesses. Groups that need the flu and Pneumococcal disease vaccines include people with:

  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney or liver problems

People with weakened immune systems may need vaccines for the flu, Hib, hepatitis A and hepatitis B, and Pneumococcal disease. They should get the shot rather than the nasal spray form of the flu vaccine.

  • HIV
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Removal or disease of the spleen
  • Meyloma
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Organ or bone marrow transplants
  • Treatment with chemotherapy
  • Long-term treatment with corticosteroids

Other special situations

  • Pregnant women – who are past the third month of pregnancy during flu season, need the inactivated flu vaccine.
  • Veterinarians and animal handlers – need the rabies vaccine. Anyone else, who works with animals or explores places where animals might live, should get the vaccine too.
  • People living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities – should get the right flu vaccine. Those working or living in group homes for the developmentally disabled may need the hepatitis B shot.
  • College students – living in dormitories may want to consider the meningococcal vaccine.
  • People in prison – should get the hepatitis B vaccine.
  • People in the armed forces – should be up-to-date on their vaccinations. They may also need vaccinations for any foreign countries where they serve.
  • Laboratory workers – who work with infectious materials may need vaccinations.
  • People, who live in areas with high rates of hepatitis A, and native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Pacific Islanders, need the hepatitis A vaccine.
  • People, who use injected street drugs, need to get vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
  • People, who have had more than one sex partner in the last six months, should get the hepatitis B vaccine. Men, who have sex with men, should consider the vaccines for both hepatitis An and hepatitis B.