Have you always dreamed of an African safari, surfing in Thailand, or backpacking through South America? If you don’t want to bring home more than memories and souvenirs, you need to make an appointment with specialist Sarfraz A. Choudhary, MD, FACP, at Infectious Diseases Tropical Medicine and Travel Clinic in Lansdowne, Virginia, to learn about recommended and required vaccines for your trip. Only a travel vaccine specialist knows the right schedule of vaccinations for your age, medical history, and destination. Call for an appointment or make one online.
Travel vaccines are vaccinations help protect you against illnesses you wouldn’t normally get exposure to in the US. Some travel vaccines are required before you enter a country, and some are recommended.
Vaccines work by exposing your body to small amounts of the disease that the vaccine is designed to protect you from. Your body then develops antibodies to protect you against this disease. You don’t contract the disease, but the antibodies present in your body protect you against contracting it in the future.
Dr. Choudhry first makes sure you’re up to date on your standard vaccines such as tetanus and pertussis. Many people are not. He then reviews your travel itinerary and medical history to determine the vaccines you need for your trip. Some factors that determine which vaccines you need include:
He also explains the schedule and timing of vaccinations you need. You can visit the CDC website’s Travelers’ Health section for more travel vaccine information.
Many vaccines need several weeks to kick in, and some require more than one dose spaced out over days or weeks. It’s best to make an appointment with Infectious Diseases Tropical Medicine and Travel Clinic a month or two before you depart.
Vaccines, whether for travel or standard ones at home, are never 100% effective. They do, however, greatly reduce your chance of getting sick or ill abroad. Plus, there are some conditions in which no vaccine has been developed to protect you such as Zika, dengue, and HIV.
It’s important to follow good hygiene and health practices when traveling, such as washing your hands frequently, watching what you eat and drink, practicing safe sex, and being aware of your surroundings.
Call for an appointment or book one online to ensure you have the vaccinations you need for your trip.