Staying Healthy On A Last-Minute Trip

    CDC recommends seeing a doctor at least 4–6 weeks before international travel, but a visit to a travel medicine specialist is valuable even if you have less time.

    Ideally, you should see a doctor at least 4–6 weeks before international travel, since many travel vaccines require multiple shots and take time to become fully effective. However, even if you are leaving soon, a visit to a travel medicine doctor is valuable.

    Some vaccines give partial protection after a single dose, and your doctor can counsel you on other ways you can reduce your risk of illness or injury.

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    Vaccines

    Talk to your doctor about what vaccines you might need for your trip. Based on your destination and planned activities, you might need some, all, or none of the vaccines discussed in this section.

    Tetanus, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio are all single-dose vaccines. However, if you are leaving soon, your body might not have time to develop protection after the shot, so you should follow your doctor’s advice for reducing your risk of these diseases.

    Yellow fever vaccine and meningococcal vaccine are also single-dose vaccines. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter many countries, and proof of meningococcal vaccine is required for people performing Hajj in Saudi Arabia. This proof is not valid until 10 days after you get the vaccine, so you may need to change your travel plans if you don’t get the vaccine soon enough.

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