Medical Missions Outreach does not require you to receive any specific immunizations, but we do highly urge you to be up to date on all vaccinations and to seek out further country-specific immunization advice from the Center for Disease Control. Medical Missions Outreach highly suggests being up to date on these vaccinations: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap), Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), IPV, Polio, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B. As you will see on the CDC website, many more vaccinations are recommended. The aforementioned five vaccinations are the vaccinations that we recommend at this time. Additionally, remember to seek out country-specific vaccination recommendations.
Helpful Links from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
From the CDC Website:
- Have you scheduled a visit to your doctor or a travel medicine provider? – Ideally, set one up 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Most vaccines take time to become effective in your body and some vaccines must be given in a series over a period of days or sometimes weeks. If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. You might still benefit from shots or medications and other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
- Are you aware of which types of vaccinations you or those traveling with you may need? – CDC divides vaccines for travel into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. While your doctor will tell you which ones you should have, it’s best to be aware of them ahead of time.
- Routine Vaccinations – Routine vaccines are those that are recommended for everyone in the United States based on their age, health condition, or other risk factors. You may think of these as the childhood vaccines that you get before starting school, but some are routinely recommended for adults, and some are recommended every year (like the flu vaccine) or every 10 years (like the tetanus booster for adults).
- Recommended Vaccinations – Recommended vaccines are those that CDC recommends travelers get to protect their health, even though they aren't required for entry by the government of the country you are visiting. Recommended vaccines are not part of the routine vaccination schedule. They protect travelers from illnesses that are usually travel-related. For example, a typhoid vaccine can prevent typhoid, a serious disease spread by contaminated food and water, which is not usually found in the United States. The vaccines recommended for a traveler depend on several things, including age, health, and itinerary.
- Required Vaccinations – A required vaccine is one that travelers must have in order to enter a country, based on that country’s government regulations. In most circumstances, yellow fever is the only vaccine required by certain countries. Keep in mind that yellow fever vaccine can be recommended by CDC to protect your health, as well as required by a country. CDC’s recommendation is different from the country’s requirement. A vaccine recommendation is designed to keep you from getting yellow fever; a vaccine requirement is the country’s attempt to keep travelers from bringing the yellow fever virus into the country. Vaccine requirements can change at any time, because country governments control those decisions.