Please call ahead in regards to any travel medicine and vaccinations.
Quick and Easy Travel Vaccinations at the clinics of the UrgentMED Network
International travel is an exciting adventure to embark upon, however, there is quite a lot of preparation that is involved in such trips. When most people think of traveling to different countries or continents, they think passports, travel insurance, and converting currency – but there is one vitally important aspect to going abroad that often falls to the wayside: travel vaccinations.
What are Travel Vaccinations?
Travel vaccines are preventive medical treatments intended to protect international travelers from health risks that we do not face here in the United States. Such infectious diseases as polio, typhoid, or yellow fever that are under control in the U.S. pose very real health threats in other parts of the world. Lack of immunization puts both the traveler and the domestic population at risk should they contract the illness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends visiting a health care professional at least one month before international travel to ensure enough time to build an immunity once the vaccine is administered. If your primary health physician doesn’t have travel vaccines on hand, visit the clinics that are part of the UrgentMED Network for quick and easy travel vaccinations in the Southern California area.
No matter where you are traveling to, it is very likely that you will need at least one type of vaccination. Specific destinations are more stringent than others and require documented proof of a vaccination to be allowed into the country. The specific travel vaccinations you require depends on several factors:
- Time of year
- Mode of travel
- Duration of stay
- Lodging conditions
- Current state of health
- The destination country
- Visiting rural vs. urban areas
- Previous vaccination history
Additionally, individual countries’ vaccination requirements will depend on the current health threat in the area. Regardless of your international travel destination, it is always recommended that the traveler is up to date with routine immunizations required within the U.S in addition to these supplementary vaccines.
Hepatitis A Vaccine
Hepatitis A is a liver disease spread through contact with feces of an infected person. The symptoms are similar to those of the flu; however, there is no cure. This vaccine requires two injections over a six month period and is recommended for travel to all countries.
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Hepatitis B is a liver disease that is spread by bodily fluids of an infected person. It can be passed through saliva, blood, or semen, and if not treated can lead to permanent damage to the liver. This vaccine requires multiple injections over the period of several months and is recommended for travel to all countries.
Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis Vaccine (DTaP)
Tetanus, diphtheria, and Pertussis are all serious disease which can infect children, adolescents, and adults. The terms DTap or Tdap are both acronyms for the vaccine which protects against these three diseases. For children, the booster vaccine is called DTap, while for both adolescents and adults, it is referred to as Tdap. Both vaccines, however, protect against all three diseases.
Tetanus: Also known as lockjaw, tetanus is commonly caused by bacteria from soil entering into the body through a cut or other break in the skin, creating an infection. Those suffering from lockjaw often experience a painful tightening of their muscles and may find it difficult to swallow or even open their mouth. About 20 percent of those infected with tetanus around the world die.
Diphtheria: A highly-contagious respiratory tract infection, which in those afflicted, can lead to swollen glands, sore throat, a weakness. More severe cases may also affect the heart and cause paralysis. Before vaccination was possible, diphtheria killed tens of thousands of children in the United States each year.
Pertussis: Also known as whooping cough, pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. The disease is characterized by excessive fits of coughing. It is most life-threatening for infants, as coughing spells may be so intense they struggle to eat, drink, and breathe.
The DTap and Tdap vaccinations are recommended for travel to all countries.
Varicella, more commonly known as chickenpox, is an extremely contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. While the majority of cases of chickenpox are mild and relatively harmless, it can be serious, especially for infants under the age of one, adolescents, pregnant women, or those with a weakened immune system.
Chickenpox generally causes an itchy rase, which may be present for approximately one week. It can also cause fever, malaise, tiredness, headache, and loss of appetite. In serious cases, it may cause skin, blood, bone, or lung infections, inflammation of the blood vessels, or brain or spinal cord swelling. Before the varicella vaccine, nearly all Americans got chickenpox, with nearly four million deaths yearly. Recommended for travel to all countries, especially for adult travelers.
Typhoid Fever Vaccine
Typhoid is a bacterial infection that is spread be coming into contact with food or water contaminated with feces. Symptoms include fever, abdominal discomfort, anorexia, and headaches and have a 10% mortality rate.
While typhoid fever is rare in the United States (fewer than 300 cases a year), it is a fairly common occurrence in undeveloped countries. As such, a typhoid fever vaccine is recommended for travel to Central and Southern America, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands.
Where Can I Get A Travel Vaccination?
Travel vaccinations are not a “one size fits all” process. A suggested list of required travel vaccines by country is available at the CDC’s Traveler’s Health page but to truly minimize your health risks while traveling, you should consult with a physician regarding your travel plans no later than one month before your departure. As such, travelers are encouraged to visit a travel health specialist like those at the clinics that are part of the UrgentMED Network.
These specialized physicians can make vaccination recommendations based on your individual travel itinerary and current health conditions. Our clinics keep many popular travel vaccines on hand and can administer them in under an hour, ideal for the last-minute internationally traveler who cannot afford to wait days for an appointment. Visit an UrgentMED Network location today at any of our 15 convenient locations in Southern California to receive quick travel vaccinations with no appointment necessary.