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.
- Women of child-bearing age should be fully immunized to protect themselves and, in the case of pregnancy, their unborn child.
- Travelers to some countries may also be at increased risk of exposure to vaccine-preventable illnesses.
- Foreign students, immigrants, and refugees may be susceptible to these diseases.
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.
Oregon College Immunization Law (pdf)
Immunization for Refugee Communities (pdf)
Adult Immunization Schedule
View the Adult Immunization Schedule
(19 and older)
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:
- 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: