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Don’t forget to get your shots

When planning a vacation or business trip abroad, we often forget about travel vaccinations. According to one study, 16% of American adult travelers needed to take the MMR vaccine before going overseas, but only half of those who needed to take it did. But getting your shots before you travel is one of the most important steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Failing to do so may lead to expensive and life-threatening illnesses such as hepatitis A, yellow fever or meningitis.

The time to start planning your vaccinations is the day you decide where you want to go. The reason for this is that some of the shots need to be administered over a period of months. You should time it so that your first visit to the vaccinations clinic is at least two months before your travels begin.

First, you should consider your own health. Are you pregnant? Do you suffer from a weakened immune system? How have you reacted to previous vaccines? Are you allergic to any medications? Then you should consider your destination. The CDC’s travel advice page (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) is a useful source of information. There you will find out which vaccines, if any, you will be required to take for that country.

Some travel vaccination should be relatively easy to get. The MMR vaccine, for example, should be available at any primary care clinic. But if there is a risk of yellow fever or some other disease not generally seen within the United States at your destination, you will need to go to a clinic that offers specialized travel vaccinations.

Three kinds of vaccinations

There are three kinds of vaccinations: routine vaccinations, required vaccinations and recommended travel vaccinations. Routine vaccinations are the vaccines that the CDC recommends for everyone, traveling or not. Required vaccinations are those that you have to have by law in order to enter certain countries. In some countries, for example, the government will insist that you take the yellow fever vaccine and meningitis vaccine before you come. The proof of these vaccines is called the International Certificate of Vaccination, or yellow card, and you will need it in order to get past the airport. Recommended travel vaccinations, on the other hand, are just a good idea.

Travel vaccination services in Matthews, NC

The Conner Clinic in Matthews, NC is a travel vaccinations clinic with full immunization services,, offering shots for yellow fever, meningitis, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies, polio and Japanese encephalitis. If you plan on going to another country any time soon, schedule an appointment as soon as you know which travel vaccinations you need.

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