Page 1 | 2Travel Vaccines
Vaccine needs vary considerably from country to country, but the best
place to start is with the recommended vaccine schedules for children
and adults. In Utah, some vaccinations are required for school entry.
However, most of the vaccines that are routinely administered in childhood
require periodic booster doses throughout life to maintain an effective
level of immunity. Adults often neglect to keep up the recommended schedule
of booster vaccinations, particularly if the risk of infection is low.
Additionally, some adults have never been vaccinated at all. It is important
to realize that diseases such as diphtheria and poliomyelitis, which no
longer occur in most industrialized countries, many be present in those
visited by travelers. Pretravel precautions should include booster doses
of routine vaccines if the regular schedule has not been followed, or
a full course of primary immunization for people
who have never been vaccinated.
Additional vaccines are advised on the basis of a travel risk assessment for the individual traveler. In deciding which vaccines are appropriate, the following factors should be considered for each vaccine:
- risk of exposure to the disease
- age, health status, vaccination history
- special risk factors
- reactions to previous vaccine doses, allergies
- risk of infecting others
Mandatory vaccination, as authorized by the International Health Regulations,
now concerns only yellow fever. Yellow fever vaccination is given
for two different reasons:
(1) to protect the individual in areas where there is a risk of yellow fever infection, and
(2) to protect vulnerable countries from importation of the yellow fever virus.
Travelers should therefore be vaccinated if they visit a country where there is a risk of exposure to yellow fever. They must be vaccinated if they visit a country that requires yellow fever vaccination as a condition of entry. This condition applies to all travelers who arrive from (including airport transit) a yellow fever endemic country.
Visit the links under Travel Vaccines for additional information about travel vaccines.
Continued on Page 2.