You may have already had all of your shots as a kid, but those effects don’t last forever. To keep your immune system functioning optimally, you need to get certain boosters of some vaccines, to keep your immune system going strong against these diseases.
Here at Omni-Med Family Care & Urgent Care in Florham Park, New Jersey, we emphasize the importance of staying up-to-date with your immunizations, whether that means getting your shots during a physical exam or a regular primary care visit.
This is especially true if you’re planning on traveling after COVID-19. Because other parts of the world can have diseases that we’re not used to, it’s also important to get what we call travel vaccines, or vaccines for illnesses that we don’t typically get as children.
Because immunizations are important for keeping your immune system strong, Dr. Roger DiRuggiero and the team have compiled this helpful guide to why you need to stay up to date on immunizations before you travel.
General vaccines that adults may need
Vaccines work by introducing a weakened version of a virus into your system. This virus is too weak to do you any harm, but it is present in your body enough to trigger a natural production of antibodies. These antibodies will then protect you when you’re exposed to this disease later.
As an adult, in addition to your annual flu vaccine, it’s recommended that you also boost or get some new vaccines, including:
- HPV - This vaccine is recommended for all adults who are under the age of 45. It greatly decreases your chances of developing cervical cancer.
- Tdap - You may have already had this whooping cough vaccine as a child, however it’s also recommended for pregnant women who are between their 27th and 36th week of pregnancy, to prevent the newborn from developing the condition.
- Shingles - Because the chickenpox virus can show up later in life as shingles, it’s important for all adults over the age of 50 to get the zoster vaccine.
- Hepatitis B - This vaccine is especially important if you’re a healthcare worker. It helps protect you and your patients from potentially transmitting the disease to each other.
These are the vaccines that you’ll always want to stay updated on.
When you’re traveling, in addition to your usual vaccines, you’ll also want to get what we call travel vaccines. Travel vaccines help protect you from illnesses that are common in the areas that you’re visiting.
Because the vaccines that you’ll need will depend on where you’re traveling, you’ll want to tell us as much as possible about where you’re staying and what sort of activities you’re planning on doing.
According to Phyllis Kozarsky, MD, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Emory University, there is no one size fits all solution for vaccines when it comes to traveling to certain parts of the world.
She makes the comparison that a business executive staying in a 5-star hotel in Bangkok will not be exposed to the same illnesses as a college student backpacking in rural Thailand, even though these two individuals are traveling to the same country.
So, be sure to discuss your travel plans with us so we can determine the kind of vaccines that you’ll need to prepare for your trip.
These are some common travel vaccines, but again, what you’ll need will vary depending on your travel plans:
- Hepatitis A
- Meningococcal disease
- Yellow fever
- Typhoid and paratyphoid fever
For more information on how to keep your immune system strong by getting up-to-date immunizations, call us today at 973-377-8776 or book an appointment online.