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What Shots Do I Need?

November 16, 2007

This is a common question we get, regardless of where our travelers are going. As Travel Medicine Specialists, we are always trying to raise awareness of the need to start thinking about this question well in advance of your trip to make sure you are as covered as possible for potential and real health risks while overseas.

Due to numerous variables that come into play when recommending vaccines and anti-malarial prescriptions, it is vital for us to actually see you and discuss this question with you in our office. The variables that get put together to make recommendations for you are:

  1. Where exactly you are going within the country (what region you will be in)
  2. How long you are there (your length of time on the ground)
  3. What you will be doing when you are there (are you in the business meetings the whole time or trekking through the jungle?)
  4. Your medical history and the previous vaccines you’ve already had if any (if you have allergies, what medications you are currently taking, even over-the-counter medications)
  5. Your tolerance for the side effects of certain kinds of vaccines and medications (like some anti-malarials and specialty vaccines)

All these factors come into play when determining what vaccines & prescriptions you would need for your trip.

We will also discuss with you all the current outbreaks happening in the areas you will be, things to watch out for while you are overseas, and what to be aware of and how to protect yourself against common illnesses.

Ideally we’d like to you between 4-6 weeks before you travel, hopefully no less that 2 weeks before you travel, simply because it usually takes 10-14 days before most vaccines are fully effective within your system and with certain prescriptions for malaria, you may need to start them 2 weeks before you land in the country . We are able to see you in a shorter time-frame if needed as well adn can usually get you scheduled in one of our offices within a few days of when you call.

I hope this answers many of your questions about why it’s important to be seen by a Travel Medicine Specialist before you make a trip across borders. Please feel free to call us should you have other concerns or questions at: (303)442-8728 or (719) 387-5528.

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