Going on Vacation? Here Are Your Necessary Travel Vaccinations

Getting immunized against certain diseases is the most effective way to protect your health abroad. And the best way to stay on top of your health is to take proactive steps to prevent infection.

Wherever it is you are traveling to this year, it is crucial to look at whether or not vaccinations are required prior to leaving the country. After all, the last thing you want on your relaxing journey abroad is a trip to the local hospital.

In some countries, it is compulsory to vaccinate, and proof of vaccinations is required. To ensure you are fully protected, you should get immunized up to a month before you travel .

What Should I Know?

Before you embark, it is important to consider factors such as your destination, your mode of travel, the duration of your visit, and the possible food and lodging conditions you may encounter on your trip. At Smith-Caldwell Drugstore , we guide our customers through all necessary health provisions for wherever their travels take them. Our trained pharmacists can help you determine what immunizations you may need based on where you are going, and provide you with the latest knowledge of disease control and prevention. Smith Caldwell can provide some vaccines to qualifying individuals 18 years and older, please be aware that in some circumstances a prescription may be required.

Know Your Necessary Vaccines

There are three types of travel vaccines :

Routine Vaccines

Routine vaccines are the standard child and adult immunization recommended for United States citizens. Immunizations such as tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are all strongly recommended. Some vaccinations are required every year, like the flu vaccine, and others every ten years, like the tetanus booster for adults. However, other countries may not have the same vigilant vaccine schedule; you should not rely on herd immunity when traveling. If you are unsure whether or not you have received your routine vaccinations, speak to our pharmacists , and find out which ones you may need to re-up on.

Recommended Vaccines

Recommended vaccines are those that the CDC recommends to protect travelers from illnesses associated with a country or place of vacation.

Required Vaccines

A required vaccine is a vaccine requested by the country a traveler wants to visit, based on their government’s regulations. In most cases, yellow fever is the only vaccine required by individual states. It can also be recommended by the CDC to protect your health, in addition to being required by the other country.

Yellow Fever

One of the essential vaccines for travelers is the yellow fever vaccine. The most effective way to prevent infection from the yellow virus is to avoid mosquito bites. There are rules and regulations in place to help stop the spread of infectious diseases, and any form of health threats. These global health regulations give countries the right to request a certificate of yellow fever vaccination from travelers. The US- licensed yellow fever vaccine, YF-Vax and alternative Stamaril are available at the Smith-Caldwell Drugstore.

Yellow fever is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and, Central and South America, characterized by jaundice, fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. The most effective way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites

Over 80 years ago a vaccine for yellow fever was made available. The vaccine is safe, affordable and in most cases, a single dose provides lifelong protection.

In some countries where there is a high risk of the virus or states with ongoing outbreaks, travelers are usually advised to consider getting a booster dose of yellow fever vaccines if it has been over ten years since they were last vaccinated.

At Smith-Caldwell Drugstore, we advise travelers to talk to us which is to determine if they have high risks of developing a reaction to the vaccines because a few people should not get the vaccine, including…

  • Organ transplant patients
  • Patients with a malignant tumor
  • Individuals allergic to a vaccine
  • Patients with immunodeficiency
  • Patients using immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory therapies.


To stay safe and healthy while traveling abroad, it is essential to get vaccinated against measles . Measles is an airborne pathogen that spreads incredibly quickly; as such, is a health risk in so many travel destinations, including countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and many Pacific Island nations. Symptoms of measles include coughing, runny nose, red eyes, high fever, and rashes.

Travelers should ensure they are protected against measles before any international travel. The Center for Disease Control recommends the people get an MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Those who do not have evidence of immunization should get two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days. Two doses of measles vaccine provide lifelong protection against measles in 999 of 1000 vaccinated people. Similarly, infants age 6 months and older should be vaccinated before traveling abroad.

The MMR vaccine is a weakened live virus. After being injected, the virus causes a harmless infection in the protected person. Their immune system fights the disease caused by this weakened virus, and as a result, develops immunity to its live counterpart.

Should I Get Vaccinated?

Ultimately, it is up to you whether or not you receive certain non-mandatory vaccinations before going abroad. But, to keep your health in tip-top shape, it is best to follow the guidelines as closely as possible and seek advice and information from a trained healthcare professional.

Where Can I Get My Travel Vaccine?

Getting a vaccine is quick and easy, and can save you a lot of time, money, and stress. The most vital thing to remember is that some vaccines take time to work, so plan your vaccination schedule well in advance of your trip. Smith Caldwell can provide some of the vaccines to qualifying individuals 18 years and older, please be aware that in some circumstances a prescription may be required. If you are thinking of going on holiday soon, make an appointment with Smith-Caldwell Drugstore. We will be happy to help ensure you and your family enjoy a fun, healthy vacation together.