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International travel vaccinations

Yellow fever vaccine is now available at Allina Health clinics. The yellow fever vaccine national shortage is now over.


Getting ready to travel abroad is an exciting time. It also requires different planning for a safe and healthy trip than your typical family beach vacation. You'll want to plan ahead to be sure your body has the appropriate immunizations for your international destination, so your adventures won't be ruined by illness.

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Why you need an International Travel Vaccine

Travel medicine providers can help prevent bothersome or dangerous illness when you take a trip abroad. A travel medicine provider will make recommendations based on your specific medical history, itinerary and planned activities to help minimize your risk of exposure to infection.

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International travelers can contract illness from eating certain foods, drinking water and even insect bites. Travel medicine providers help you prepare for all types of travel, including:

  • business trips
  • mission work
  • study abroad 
  • family vacations
  • homeland visits
  • guided tours
  • adventure and eco-travel

A travel medicine appointment may include:

  • an assessment of your medical history
  • information on how to stay safe from insect and water-borne infections
  • travel tips
  • immunization (shot) recommendations specific to age, destination(s) and planned activities
  • medications to treat or prevent illness, such as traveler's diarrhea and malaria
  • education materials about the countries you will be visiting.

It is important to see a travel medicine provider six to eight weeks before you leave to have your shots and make sure you're healthy enough to fight off disease.

While many services are covered by insurance, check with your insurance provider to make sure these services are covered by your plan. Medicare does not cover travel-related services.

What to expect when scheduling your international travel vaccine

You should plan to have any necessary travel vaccinations four to six weeks prior to your departure to ensure your body has time to build up antibodies. Some vaccines may require a second booster dose.

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Source: Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention
Reviewed by: Keith Olson, DO, regional medical director

First published: 12/6/2016
Last reviewed: 8/19/2021