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Traveling Out of the Country?

Going abroad? Learn about the vaccines you need to travel safely and see a travel health specialist four to six weeks before your trip. This gives the vaccines enough time to take effect, and allows for subsequent doses, if necessary, in the time that follows.

Remember to pack good health for your trip! Vaccines are your passport to adventure around the world.  Some vaccines may even be required for you to travel to certain places.  Protect yourself and your community by getting vaccinated before you travel. 

Know before you go: which vaccines do you need for your trip?

Go to the CDC Travel Health site to learn about vaccines and other important information to stay healthy while you travel.

MMR Vaccine and Travel

The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is very important for travelers.  Each year, unvaccinated people get measles while in other countries and bring it to the United States. This has sometimes led to outbreaks.  Since 2000, when measles was declared eliminated from the U.S., the annual number of people reported to have measles ranged from a low of 37 people in 2004 to a high of 668 people in 2014. The majority of measles cases brought into the U.S. come from U.S. residents. When we can identify vaccine status, almost all are unvaccinated.

  • For those who travel internationally, CDC recommends that all U.S. residents older than 6 months be protected from measles and receive MMR vaccine, if needed, prior to departure.   
  • Infants 6 through 11 months old should receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine before departure.
  • Children 12 months of age or older should have documentation of 2 doses of MMR vaccine (separated by at least 28 days).
  • Teenagers and adults without evidence of measles immunity should have documentation of 2 appropriately spaced doses of MMR vaccine.

To find out more about the MMR vaccine travel recommendation, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/travelers.html

Other Travel Vaccines

However, it may not just be MMR vaccine that you need.  You may be exposed to different diseases based on the countries you are visiting.  For example, you may need the yellow fever vaccine if traveling to certain countries in Africa or Central or South America.  If traveling to Asia, Latin America, or Africa, you may need typhoid vaccine.   

What you need to know about vaccinations and travel: A checklist

  • Have you scheduled a visit to your doctor or a travel medicine provider?
  • Are you aware which vaccinations you or those traveling with you may need?
  • Do you have altered immunocompetence due to illnesses such as diabetes or HIV?
  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Are you traveling with infants or children?
  • If you haven't looked up health information for your destination, do so at the CDC Travel Health site.