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Yale J Biol Med. 1992 Jul-Aug;65(4):293-315.

Immunizations for foreign travel.

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  • The International Traveler's Medical Service, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06030-3212.


One of the most important aspects of preparing travelers for destinations throughout the world is providing them with immunizations. Before administering any vaccines, however, a careful health and immunization history and travel itinerary should be obtained in order to determine vaccine indications and contraindications. There are three categories of immunizations for foreign travel. The first category includes immunizations which are routinely recommended whether or not the individual is traveling. Many travelers are due for primary vaccination or boosting against tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, pneumococcal pneumonia, and influenza, for example, and the pre-travel visit is an ideal time to administer these. The second category are immunizations which might be required by a country as a condition for entry; these are yellow fever and cholera. The final category contains immunizations which are recommended because there is a risk of acquiring a particular disease during travel. Typhoid fever, meningococcal disease, rabies, and hepatitis are some examples. Travelers who are pregnant or who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus require special consideration. Provision of appropriate immunizations for foreign travel is an important aspect of preventing illness in travelers.

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