Vaccines for International Travel

David O Freedman, Lin H Chen
Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2019, 94 (11): 2314-2339
The pretravel management of the international traveler should be based on risk management principles. Prevention strategies and medical interventions should be based on the itinerary, preexisting health factors, and behaviors that are unique to the traveler. A structured approach to the patient interaction provides a general framework for an efficient consultation. Vaccine-preventable diseases play an important role in travel-related illnesses, and their impact is not restricted to exotic diseases in developing countries. Therefore, an immunization encounter before travel is an ideal time to update all age-appropriate immunizations as well as providing protection against diseases that pose additional risk to travelers that may be delineated by their destinations or activities. This review focuses on indications for each travel-related vaccine together with a structured synthesis and graphics that show the geographic distribution of major travel-related diseases and highlight particularly high-risk destinations and behaviors. Dosing, route of administration, need for boosters, and possible accelerated regimens for vaccines administered prior to travel are presented. Different underlying illnesses and medications produce different levels of immunocompromise, and there is much unknown in this discipline. Recommendations regarding vaccination of immunocompromised travelers have less of an evidence base than for other categories of travelers. The review presents a structured synthesis of issues pertinent to considerations for 5 special populations of traveler: child traveler, pregnant traveler, severely immunocompromised traveler, HIV-infected traveler, and traveler with other chronic underlying disease including asplenia, diabetes, and chronic liver disease.

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