It’s never something you look forward to. Sometimes it just downright hurts. And the anti-vaxers out there say they’re dangerous.
Depending on where you are traveling to, you’ll want…really, need…to get some shots. Things like hepatitis A or B, typhoid, polio, and yellow fever aren’t any fun and can be deadly, even in the age of modern medicine. Yes, these all still exist and can be prevented in large part by visiting a travel clinic before your adventure to be immunized.
Travel clinics aren’t something you really notice until you begin to research your trip and realize that the last time you had any shots, Reagan was in office. Your primary care physician or general practitioner will have information on where you can obtain the necessary shots for the destination you plan to go to. In some instances, they should be able to get you squared away with needed vaccines themselves.
Don’t have a PC or GP and unsure where to go? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a page dedicated to helping you find a clinic, just click here. As best as you can, try to get any needed shots at least 4-6 weeks prior to your trip. For Americans, CVS Minute Clinics and Walgreens often aren’t bad options for many of your vaccine needs.
Now, you may think that “I don’t do shots” or “I won’t need to prove immunity before entering the country I’ll visit.” As someone who has literally seen an immigration official walk a person over to some dude in a white lab coat to jab the traveler with a yellow fever vaccine…I was really happy my yellow fever shot was up to date and that I could prove it with my shot record.
If you are going to the African continent, much of south or southeastern Asia, or parts of Central and South America, assume you’ll need some shots. Even if you’re not keen on them, it’s way better than being stuck in a foreign hospital or, well, coming home with typhoid like a friend of mine did. It wasn’t pretty.