Sept 4, 2018

With the World Health Organization recently updating its recommendations for polio vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for travelers bound for eight destinations, including Kenya, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea. Regardless of the international destination, NBAA recommends that all operators and their passengers review their immunization records before departure.

“This review should be a standard item of international preflight preparations,” said Doug Carr, NBAA vice president of regulatory and international affairs.

The CDC’s recommendations for immunizations one should get before traveling to specific countries are in addition to the routine vaccines that Americans should receive as children and adults. Hepatitis A and B make both the child and adults lists of routine vaccines, as do those for pneumococcal and meningococcal diseases. Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (TDAP) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV), are also on both lists. View the CDC traveler resources.

Adults should get the shingles vaccine regardless of their travel plans. Children should have the vaccine for chickenpox, whose varicella zoster virus makes adults susceptible to shingles. International travelers may also need adult boosters for childhood vaccines for polio, and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Some vaccines are good for life, others, like Tetanus, are good for a set period.

“The CDC website is a good place to start assessing a traveler’s vaccine requirements, such as learning what countries require yellow fever vaccines or the need for a typhoid vaccine when traveling to developing nations,” Carr said. “Ultimately, the vaccines a person needs depends on their age, gender and health. Well before any planned international travel, individuals should review their immunization history and requirements with their physician, who may recommend reinoculation for those with no memory or record of receiving a routine childhood vaccine.”

Additionally, documentation of a vaccination history could help with access to some areas with persistent outbreaks.