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What are "routine vaccines"?
Routine vaccines are those recommended for everyone in the United States, depending on age and vaccine history. Most people think of these as childhood vaccines that you get before starting school, but CDC also recommends routine vaccines for adults (for example, flu vaccine and tetanus booster shots).
Why are routine vaccines important for travelers?
Because of good vaccine coverage of children in the United States, some of the diseases prevented by routine vaccines rarely occur here. However, these diseases can be much more common in other countries, even in areas where you wouldn’t normally worry about travel-related illnesses. For example, although measles is rare in the United States, it is more common in other countries. Measles outbreaks happen frequently in many popular tourist destinations in Europe and beyond—don't go unprotected!
Being up-to-date on your routine vaccines will give you the best protection against these illnesses.
What routine vaccines do I need?
What vaccines you need depends on your age, health, and what vaccines you have already had. For most adults who received all their recommended vaccines as children, only a yearly flu vaccine and a tetanus booster every 10 years are needed. However, you should talk to your doctor about what’s best for you. If you did not receive all your vaccines as a child—or if you can’t remember—your doctor may recommend giving them again, just to be safe. For older adults, vaccination against pneumococcal disease or shingles might be advised.
For more information on immunization schedules, see:
- Page created: May 21, 2013
- Page last updated: October 11, 2018
- Page last reviewed: October 11, 2018
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