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Vaccines for Travelers

Vaccines protect travelers from serious diseases. Depending on where you travel, you may come into contact with diseases that are rare in the United States, like yellow fever. Some vaccines may also be required for you to travel to certain places.

Getting vaccinated will help keep you safe and healthy while you’re traveling. It will also help make sure that you don’t bring any serious diseases home to your family, friends, and community.

On this page, you'll find answers to common questions about vaccines for travelers.

Which vaccines do I need before traveling?

The vaccines you need to get before traveling will depend on few things, including:

  • Where you plan to travel. Some countries require proof of vaccination for certain diseases, like yellow fever or polio. And traveling in developing countries and rural areas may bring you into contact with more diseases, which means you might need more vaccines before you visit.
  • Your health. If you’re pregnant or have an ongoing illness or weakened immune system, you may need additional vaccines.
  • The vaccinations you’ve already had. It’s important to be up to date on your routine vaccinations. While diseases like measles are rare in the United States, they are more common in other countries. Learn more about routine vaccines for specific age groups.

How far in advance should I get vaccinated before traveling?

It’s important to get vaccinated at least 4 to 6 weeks before you travel. This will give the vaccines time to start working, so you’re protected while you’re traveling. It will also usually make sure there’s enough time for you to get vaccines that require more than 1 dose.

Where can I go to get travel vaccines?

Start by finding a:

Learn more about where you can get vaccines.

What resources can I use to prepare for my trip?

Here are some resources that may come in handy as you’re planning your trip:

Traveling with a child? Make sure they get the measles vaccine.

Measles is still common in some countries. Getting your child vaccinated will protect them from getting measles — and from bringing it back to the United States where it can spread to others. Learn more about the measles vaccine.

Last reviewed: December 2017