Travel and Immunizations

For the most up-to-date travel health information, consult Student Health Services at 517/629-0220 or visit www.cdc.gov/travel.

Traveling outside the United States is a unique and wonderful experience. The last thing you want to think about is illness. However, illness while traveling is a very real concern. To assist in safeguarding your health while you are away from home, we are providing a list of immunizations available to assist you in having a safe and healthy trip.

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis A
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria
  • Polio
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow Fever
  • Anti-Malarial Drugs

Hepatitis B vaccine is given in a three dose series. After the first dose is given, the additional doses are given at one month and six month intervals. Vaccinations should be started at least 2 months prior to travel, so that at minimum the first 2 doses have been given. This dosing schedule will usually provide lifetime immunity. It is important to receive all three doses to be fully protected. The injections are given in the upper arm. The most common side effect is soreness in the arm. Mild fever, headache, and nausea are also possible side effects, but are rare. The Hepatitis B vaccine is available at Student Health Services or your local doctor.

Hepatitis A vaccine is given in a two dose series that provides lifetime immunity. Doses are administered now and in 6-12 months from the initial injection. vaccinations should be started at least one month prior to travel. It is important to receive both doses to ensure full immunity. It is administered in the upper arm. The most common side effect is soreness in the arm. Other less frequent side effects include mild fever, headache and nausea. The Hepatitis A vaccine is available at Student Health Services or your local doctor.

Tetanus-Diphtheria vaccination is a booster dose given to persons who have completed their initial childhood series. The vaccine should be given every 10 years. This provides the traveler adequate coverage in the event of an injury while away. The vaccine is administered in the upper arm. The most common side effect is soreness in the arm. Tetanus-Diphtheria vaccine is available at Student Health Services or your local doctor.

Polio vaccination is not usually necessary for adults past the age of 17 who have completed the initial immunization series as children. However, one booster dose of injectable polio vaccine (IPV) is recommended for adults who travel to parts of the world where polio still occurs. This additional dose provides lifetime immunity. It should be given two months prior to travel. The vaccine is administered in the upper arm. Side effects are usually limited to soreness at the injection site. Polio immunizations are available at Student Health Services or your local doctor.

Typhoid vaccine is effective for two years after one injectable dose. It should be given at least one-month prior to travel. It is given in the upper arm. The most common side effects are soreness, redness, and swelling at the injection site. Less frequently fever, headache, muscle aches, and GI upset may occur. Typhoid vaccine is available at Student Health Services or your local doctor.

Yellow Fever vaccine is given to travelers to certain parts of Africa and South America to protect travelers’ health and to meet international entry requirements. Vaccine may only be given at a center designated by the federal or state health departments. Official International Certificate of Vaccination cards are provided at these centers and may be required to prior to entry to some countries. It is given at least one-month prior to travel.

The vaccine is injected into the upper arm. It is effective for 10 years. Side effects are usually mild. These include fever, headache and muscle aches, and generally occur within 5-14 days of the injection.

Yellow Fever vaccination and official International Certificate of Vaccination cards are available at Student Health Services.

Anti-Malarial Drugs

Aralen (Chloroquine) is given for the prevention and treatment of malaria in susceptible countries. One tablet is taken weekly on the same day, beginning at least one week prior to departure, while away and continuing for 8 weeks after the trip. Side effects include changes in vision, GI upset, headache, ringing in ears and pruritis. Serious side effects are possible, but unusual with shorter courses of therapy.

Lariam (Mefloquine) is given for the prevention and treatment of malaria in countries where Chloroquine-resistant strains of the disease have been identified. One tablet is taken weekly on the same day beginning two weeks prior to departure, while away, and continuing for 4 weeks after the trip. Side effects include dizziness, nausea, fever, headache, chills, ringing in ears and body aches. Serious side effects are possible, but less frequent with shorter courses of therapy.

For specific immunization recommendations for each country, please visit www.cdc.gov/travel.

For information on individual immunizations, please visit www.travelvacs.us.

For additional information about healthy travel, please visit www.travdoc.com.