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 but there are also routine vaccines for adolescents and adults.
Why are routine vaccines important for travelers?
Because most U.S. children get routine vaccines, many vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, or chickenpox, are not common in the United States. If you are not vaccinated, international travel increases your chances of getting and spreading diseases that are not common in the United Sates. Popular destinations, including Europe, still have outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Make sure you are up-to-date on all of your routine vaccines. Routine vaccinations protect you from infectious diseases such as measles that can spread quickly in groups of unvaccinated people. Many diseases prevented by routine vaccination are not common in the United States but are still common in other countries.
Check CDC’s destination pages. Check CDC’s webpage for your destination to see what vaccines or medicines you may need and what diseases or health risks are a concern at your destination.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider or a travel health specialist at least one month before you leave. They can help you get destination-specific vaccines, medicines, and information. Discussing health concerns as well as your itinerary and planned activities with your provider allows them to give more specific advice and recommendations.
What routine vaccines do I need?
The routine vaccines you need before travel may depend on your age, health, and vaccine history. You may need to get an accelerated dose of a vaccine or a booster dose before traveling.
Routine vaccinations related to travel may include the following:
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Measles, mumps, Rubella
- Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis
- Shingles (Zoster)
The following are CDC immunization schedules for by age group:
- Recommended Vaccinations or Infants and Children (birth through 6 years)
- Recommended Vaccinations for Children (7-18 years old)
- Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule for ages 19 years or older