Depending on where you are going, you may need multiple vaccinations or booster shots. Which vaccinations are recommended are determined by your vaccination and health history and the requirements of your destination. Some countries recommend that visitors get particular vaccinations while others require them as a condition of entry. We will provide you with all the documentation that you need.
You may also need prescriptions for antibiotics, malaria prophylaxis or altitude sickness.
All of the medications we prescribe are available at our pharmacy just down the hall. The pharmacy also stocks over-the-counter medicine and other products you may need such as bug repellent, sunscreen and rehydration salts.
We currently do not have vaccines for yellow fever. To find locations that have an alternative vaccination, visit the CDC website here.
We provide a comprehensive list of vaccines including:
- Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver and is acquired by consuming contaminated food or water. This vaccine is recommended if traveling to most developing countries. This vaccine should ideally be given at least 2 weeks prior to travel. This vaccine cannot be given to children under one year old.
- Hepatitis B
This form of hepatitis also affects the liver and is acquired by exposure to blood or via sexual transmission. The immunization requires two or three injections depending on the type of vaccine given.
- Japanese Encephalitis
JE is a mosquito-borne viral infection that affects the brain. It occurs in certain parts of rural Asia during certain times of the year. Those traveling near rice paddies and pig farms for longer than 3-4 weeks are at the highest risk. Most short-term travelers going to major cities in Asia are not at risk. This vaccine is approved for persons two months and older. The vaccine is given as a two shot series, 7 or 28 days apart.
Neisseira Meninigits is a bacteria that can cause a brain infection known as meningitis. Meningococcal vaccination is required for pilgrims going to Hajj or Umra and is recommended for travelers going to the Meningitis Belt in Africa between December and June.
Measles in particular is a highly contagious viral infection spread by coughing or sneezing and we have seen massive outbreaks both in the US and abroad due to lack of vaccination. This vaccine can be offered to those who have not previously received 2 MMR vaccinations or whose vaccination status is unknown.
Polio is a viral infection that can cause permanent neurologic damage. Polio is still present in some developing countries such as Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most people in the U.S. have received a primary series of polio vaccine during childhood and will require only a booster injection if traveling to an area where polio remains a risk.
Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause pneumonia, meningitis and systemic infections. Two pneumococcal vaccinations exist and are recommended for certain individuals as part of their routine care. This is not a vaccine that is necessary for travel.
Rabies is transmitted by a bite from an infected animal. Rabies is most common in bats and in dogs in developing countries. Ask your physician if they recommend the three shot pre-exposure rabies series.
Most people have a primary immunization against tetanus. Boosters are recommended every 5-10 years to prevent a tetanus (bacterial infection that can occur after an injury) and pertussis (whooping cough). While not specifically recommended for travel, we do offer this to make sure patients are up to date.
Typhoid fever is a serious bacterial illness acquired by consuming contaminated food and water in developing countries. There are currently two vaccines for the prevention of typhoid fever. Ask your physician which may be best for you.
- Yellow Fever- Currently Tufts MC cannot provide the yellow fever vaccination to travelers due to a nationwide shortage which is expected to be resolved by the end of 2019.
Yellow fever is a severe and potentially fatal mosquito-borne viral illness common in parts of Africa and South America. After the first vaccine, protection is likely lifelong. Generally, people who should not receive this vaccine include those who have an egg allergy, an altered immune system, are pregnant or are less than 9 months of age.
To find where an alternative vaccine is offered, visit the CDC web page for a list of locations.