Warm weather is approaching which means it’s officially vacation season for many families. While traveling to a new place and experiencing everything the location has to offer is exciting, it can also be very dangerous. Without the proper preparation, your light-hearted vacation could turn into a long-term hospital stay. What’s the most essential part of that preparation? Vaccinations!

What Are Travel Vaccinations?

Travel vaccinations are a type of vaccination used to protect you when you enter a country that isn’t your home. Different regions of the world can carry illness and disease that we don’t see here in the United States. Since the diseases aren’t present here, we hold no natural immune defense against them. Before embarking on a vacation to another country, you should discuss what vaccinations you need with your doctor. By getting the vaccination 4-6 weeks before your trip, you will have the peace of mind that you’re protected the entire time you’re away.

Why Are Travel Vaccinations Important?

Travel vaccinations serve an essential role in not only your safety but the safety of everyone around you after you return home from your travels. To give a better understanding of their importance, let’s take a closer look at each level of protection.

Personal safety – travel vaccinations will ensure you have a pleasant and healthy trip. Without vaccinations, you could end up hospitalized in a foreign country and, in severe cases, dead. Without vaccinations, you can easily catch an illness from something as simple as eating and drinking in the local region you’re visiting.

Peer protection – if you become ill during your time away and return to the states carrying the disease with you, everyone you come into contact with is at risk. They haven’t received vaccinations because they weren’t the ones traveling. That means it’s your responsibility to get vaccinated to protect those around you. Because of this, you may even be unable to re-enter to the country if you can’t show proof that you received the necessary vaccinations before your travels.

Getting Vaccinated

Receiving your travel vaccinations is quick and easy. The CDC offers vaccination clinics in areas all around the country. If you have a family doctor or primary care provider, they should be able to administer the vaccination as well. The process is quick and comes with little to no risk of any side effects. To learn more about what treatments you need, how to get them, and what to expect, visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.