- The first is vaccines that people should make sure they have had regardless of whether they are traveling, including tetanus and the MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine -- particularly given that these diseases are more prevalent in many parts of the world than in the United States. "Flu shots are also advisable," recommends Zachary Rubin, MD, director of the Santa Monica-UCLA Center for Travel and Tropical Medicine, "even in the summer, since flu is spread year-round rather than seasonally in many regions."
- The second group includes vaccines to prevent diseases spread by food and water, including hepatitis A and typhoid.
- The third includes vaccines for diseases more specific to the locale, such as yellow fever for those entering certain tropical and jungle areas.
Although most doctors’ offices can provide common immunizations such as tetanus, less routine vaccines typically require a travel-medicine specialist.