Health & Immunization
Important Note: This document is not a complete medical guide for travelers going overseas. Consult with your doctor for specific information related to your needs and your medical history; recommendations may differ for pregnant women, young children, and persons who have chronic medical conditions. Before traveling overseas, you may need to get the following vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you might be at risk for at your destination: (Note: Your doctor or health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities). To have the most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect and to start taking medicine to prevent malaria, if you need it. Even if you have less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling. CDC recommends that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. If you have a medical condition, you should also share your travel plans with any doctors you are currently seeing for other medical reasons. If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know so that you can receive the appropriate vaccinations and information for all of your destinations. Long-term travelers, such as those who plan to work or study abroad, may also need additional vaccinations as required by their employer or school. Be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date and verify with a health professional to see which vaccinations you should get. If you will be visiting an area with malaria, you will need to discuss with your doctor the best ways for you to avoid getting sick with malaria.
Medicines you may need:
- The prescription medicines you take every day. Make sure you have enough to last during your trip. Keep them in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. Be sure to follow security guidelines, if the medicines are liquids.
- Antimalarial drugs, if traveling to a malaria-risk area and prescribed by your doctor.
- Medicine for diarrhea, usually over-the-counter.
- Prescription for a sleeping aid due to long flight times, jet lag, changes in culture, etc.
Note: Some drugs available by prescription in the US are illegal in other countries. Check the US Department of State Consular Information Sheets for the country(s) you intend to visit or the embassy or consulate for that country(s). If your medication is not allowed in the country you will be visiting, ask your health-care provider to write a letter on office stationery stating the medication has been prescribed for you.