It’s important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information for the region you will be visiting. The only one qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician or a specialist from a Travel Health clinic. All travelers should visit a doctor 4-8 weeks before departure, since most vaccines don’t provide immunity until at least two weeks after they’re given.
If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. You might still benefit from shots or medications and other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
Vaccines for travel are divided into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. While your doctor will tell you which ones you should have, it’s best to be aware of them ahead of time.
Be sure that you and your family are up to date on your routine vaccinations. These vaccines are necessary for protection from diseases that are still common in many parts of the world even though they rarely occur in the United States. If you are not sure which vaccinations are routine, look at the schedules below.
These vaccines are recommended to protect travelers from illnesses present in other parts of the world and to prevent the importation of infectious diseases across international borders. Which vaccinations you need depends on a number of factors including your destination, whether you will be spending time in rural areas, the season of the year you are traveling, your age, health status, and previous immunizations.
See the Destinations page and look up the country or countries you will visit.
The only vaccine required by International Health Regulations is yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Meningococcal vaccination is required by the government of Saudi Arabia for annual travel during the Hajj.
If you have not looked up our health information that applies to your specific travel destinations, do so now by visiting www.cdc.gov