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The widespread implementation of childhood vaccination programs has substantially reduced the occurrence of many vaccine-preventable diseases. However, adults may be at risk for these diseases and their complications if they escaped natural infection or have not been vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chicken pox) and poliomyelitis.
Who Needs It?
Other vaccine-preventable diseases (hepatitis B, rabies, influenza, and pneumococcal disease) may pose a risk to persons in certain age, occupational, environmental, and life-style groups and those with special health problems.
A systematic approach to vaccination is necessary to ensure that every adult is appropriately protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Every visit by an adult to a healthcare provider should be an opportunity to review and update immunization status. Healthcare providers and individuals should maintain detailed records about each person's vaccination history.
Contact a local travel clinic or your physician immediately when international travel is planned to determine if there are vaccination requirements for your intended destination. It may require several months to receive the adequate number and type of vaccines, toxoids and/or prophylaxis.
International travelers may be encouraged to receive or require additional vaccines, toxoids and/or prophylaxis prior to departure from the United States.
In general, to reduce the risk of infection travelers must:
- Protect themselves from insects;
- Ensure the quality of their food and drinking water; and
- Be knowledgeable about potential diseases in the region to be visited (CDC).
For specific details on these important subjects:
- Visit the CDC Travel Immunization web site; or
- Call the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia at (404) 332-4559, or;
- Find a travel clinic
Please contact the individual clinic sites to see which travel vaccines they provide and if they can provide overall travelers' health information.
Vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, and Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis and invasive disease are routinely administered in the United States, usually in childhood. Routine vaccination against hepatitis B virus infection also is now recommended for all infants beginning either at birth or at two months of age.
If persons do not have a history of adequate protection against these diseases, immunizations appropriate to their age and previous immunization status should be obtained, whether or not international travel is planned (CDC).
Other relevant travel documentation includes requirements for use of a new International Certificate of Vaccination or prophylaxis for Yellow Fever vaccine and a waiver letter from a physician for Yellow Fever.
For additional information for international travel, visits these sites:
The Immunize Oregon coalition is a network of professionals, agencies, and community members that come together to collaborate and share evidence-based immunization practices. We strive to advise policy, advocate for safe use of vaccines, and represent the needs of Oregon public health providers statewide.
Vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) has been shown to reduce transmission of influenza and absenteeism among HCWs, prevent mortality in their patients, and result in financial savings to worksites. Influenza vaccination coverage among HCWs in the United States, however, remains dismally low.
Find valuable resources and tools such as a list of organizations supporting vaccination of health care workers, online toolkits, educational materials, downloadable forms, an article by Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic and a power point presentation by Virginia Mason Medical Center, the first hospital in the nation to mandate annual influenza for all personnel!
The Oregon Public Health Division offers on-site training to support effective integration of viral hepatitis education, prevention counseling, screening, and vaccination services.