Vaccine Recommendations for International Travelers

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

(Two Years of Age and Older)

Source: Centers for Disease Control, July 10, 2000 ( )

The following vaccines should be reviewed with a physician at least ten weeks before departure to ensure the proper scheduling of the various appropriate vaccines and dosages.

Primary Vaccine Series. For travelers over two years of age the following immunizations normally given during childhood should be up to date:

  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTP or DTaP) Vaccine until age 7, then Td Vaccine
  • Polio (OPV) Vaccine
  • Haemophilus Influenza B (HbCV) Vaccine
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) Vaccine
  • Varicella vaccine (for persons who have never had chickenpox)

Children over two should be “on schedule” with each vaccine's primary-series schedule, while adults should have completed the primary series. If you are unsure about your vaccine history, consult with your physician. In addition, adult travelers may want to consider:

  • Influenza (Flu) Vaccine—(Recommended for adults 65 years or older, or other high risk individuals)
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine—(Recommended for adults 65 years or older, or other high risk individuals)
  • Booster or Additional Doses:
    • Tetanus and diphtheria: A booster dose of adult Tetanus-diphtheria (Td) is recommended every ten years.
    • Polio: An additional single dose of vaccine should be received by adult travelers going to the developing countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent, and the majority of the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. This additional dose of polio vaccine should be received only once during the adult years. Enhanced Inactivated Polio Vaccine (eIPV) is recommended for this dose.
    • Measles: Persons born in or after 1957 should consider a second dose of measles vaccine before traveling abroad.

Additional Vaccines. Yellow fever vaccine is recommended if traveling to certain parts of Africa and South America. Hepatitis B vaccine should be considered for those who will live six months or more in areas of developing countries where Hepatitis B is prevalent (Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the islands of the South and Western Pacific, and the Amazon region of South America), and who will have frequent close contact with the local population. Hepatitis A Vaccine and/or Immune Globulin (IG) is recommended for travelers to all areas except Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Northern and Western Europe and North America (except Mexico). Typhoid vaccine is recommended for travelers spending four weeks or more in areas where food and water precautions are recommended—many parts of the world, especially developing countries. Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for travelers to sub-Saharan Africa, especially if close contact with the locals is anticipated, or if travel occurs during the dry season from December through June. Japanese Encephalitis or Tick-borne Encephalitis vaccines should be considered for long-term travelers to geographic areas of risk. Cholera vaccine is of questionable benefit to travelers of any age.

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