What Are Some Common Vaccinations Required for Foreign Travel?


Quick Answer

Vaccinations commonly required for foreign travel include yellow fever and meningococcal vaccines, according to Cleveland Clinic. Each country specifies what vaccinations it requires for entry based on the incidence of disease and visitors' previous travel. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends updating routine vaccinations for measles, tetanus and diphtheria before traveling abroad.

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Full Answer

Yellow fever vaccination is required before traveling to certain African and South American countries, notes Vaccines.gov. The vaccine must be given by a World Health Organization-approved vaccination center at least 10 days prior to entering the country that requires it, and the vaccination is valid for 10 years. Angola, Sierra Leone, Mali and the Central African Republic are some of the countries that require this vaccination.

The meningococcal vaccination is required for all visitors who travel to Saudi Arabia, especially during Hajj, explains the CDC. This event draws almost three million travelers annually, and each one must show proof of getting the vaccine within the past three years. The CDC does not require vaccinations, but it does recommend that people in the meningitis belt of sub-Saharan Africa get this vaccination. People traveling to and living in this region are at high risk for meningitis, especially from December through June.

The Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine isn’t required for travel, but the CDC recommends it, according to Vaccines.gov. Since measles was eliminated from the United States, it has reappeared in various outbreaks due to unvaccinated travelers contracting it overseas, with as many as 600 people contracting it since 2000.

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