The specialty of travel medicine is dynamic and vast in its medical knowledge requirements. Our physicians' expertise includes extensive knowledge of pre-travel management, vaccinations, epidemiology, region-specific travel medicine, travel-related illnesses, and post-travel management.
In anticipation of visiting a foreign destination, it is essential that the traveler is well educated regarding the regions that will be visited. It is also essential that the traveler have an understanding of how his/her health may be impacted. Vaccinations are a vital part of the preparation for foreign travel. After identifying the foreign destination, the traveler ideally should schedule a visit to our travel medicine clinic 4-6 weeks before the trip as many vaccinations require a time period of days or weeks before becoming effective. However, if that time line has been missed there is still benefit to scheduling an appointment. In addition, if the traveler is uncertain regarding previous immunizations that he/she may have received, our travel medicine physicians can administer tests to determine whether additional updated boosters are indicated.
The Centers for Disease Control divides vaccines for travel into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. Our physicians will tell you which ones you should have, and it is best to be aware of them ahead of time. Our travel medicine physicians recommend vaccinations based on a number of factors, which include the travel destinations, the activities planned, the season, prior immunizations, urban/rural location, the traveler's age, and current health status. Vaccinations are recommended to protect travelers from acquiring illnesses present in other parts of the world and to prevent the traveler's importation of infectious diseases across international borders back to the United States. Special considerations may be necessary for elderly travelers, travelers with compromised immune systems, pregnancy, those with chronic illnesses, students, and travelers with disabilities.
Required vaccinations: International Health Regulations requires yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in Africa and tropical South America. In addition, the Saudi Arabian government requires those traveling during the Hajj to obtain the meningococcal vaccination.