Travel Health Information Resource Page for FAQ

Read below for travel health advice on diseases and special needs from the MDtravelhealth channel.

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  • Overview You can't Edit

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    Read below for the MDtravelhealth Frequently Asked Questions list.

    Go at a question that is not answered here?  Proceed to Travel Questions and ask your question there.

  • Where can I get these vaccinations? You can't Edit

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    You can go to either an infectious diseases specialist, a travel medicine clinic, or your family physician. (Your family doctor will have many of these vaccines in stock, but probably not rabies, Japanese encephalitis, or yellow fever.) Yellow fever vaccine can only be given at a registered yellow fever vaccination center.

    For extended trips abroad, especially in rural areas, it’s generally advisable to go to an infectious diseases specialist or a travel medicine center. For a partial list of travel clinics, go to the websites of the International Society of Travel Medicine and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  • By when should I make an appointment? You can't Edit

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    Preferably 6 weeks or more before departure. Some vaccines require 2-3 doses to be as protected as possible. If you do not have time for the routine dosing schedule, you may be able to have an accelerated schedule for some vaccines.  

  • How do I know if I need a booster? You can't Edit

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    If you've received some of these vaccines in the past this is how long the vaccines are effective (i.e. if it’s been longer than this since you were immunized, you need a booster):

    • Hepatitis A — 10 years (after second dose; relatively new vaccine; recommendations not finalized)
    • Typhoid VI (injectable typhoid) — 2 years
    • Vivotif (oral typhoid) — 5 years
    • Hepatitis B — obtain a blood test to determine if protected only if traveler can not confirm receiving 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine
    • Rabies - either revaccinate after 2 years or obtain a blood test to determine if still protected
    • Yellow fever — 10 years (some countries consider one dose effective for lifetime - check with country counsulate)
    • Meningococcal — 3 years
    • Japanese encephalitis — 3 years
    • Tetanus-diphtheria — 10 years
    • Measles — lifetime (after second dose)
    • Varicella — lifetime (after second dose)
    • Polio — lifetime (after a single adult booster)
    • Influenza — yearly
  • What is the basis for these recommendations? You can't Edit

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    The recommendations are largely derived from the publications and websites of the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. The statements of Health Canada and other governmental agencies have also been considered. For certain diseases, such as typhoid fever, data are limited and official recommendations are somewhat broad. If there is uncertainty in any given situation, we tend to be cautious and recommend giving the vaccine.  

  • There is a discrepancy between the CDC and WHO? You can't Edit

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    What do you do of there is a discrepancy between the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO)?

    We err on the side of caution; i.e. in any given situation, if one organization recommends giving a vaccine and the other doesn’t, we generally advise giving the vaccine. On most points, the CDC and WHO are in close agreement. The chief area of discrepancy is yellow fever vaccine. In countries where yellow fever occurs, the WHO usually recommends yellow fever vaccine only for travel to those parts of the country where yellow fever has actually been reported, whereas the CDC generally recommends the vaccine for all travel outside urban areas. We have adopted the latter set of recommendations. " Recommendations (by the CDC) are subject to change at any time because of changes in YFV circulation; therefore, CDC encourages travelers to check the destination pages for up-to-date vaccine information and to check for relevant travel notices on the CDC website before departure (www.cdc.gov/travel).

     

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