Vaccinations Required for Time Travel

Updated on December 23, 2009
J.C. asks from Espanola, NM
9 answers


Quick question. Is it law to be vaccinated for out of the country travel. I know that it can be life threatening and all that. It is not required for my son to be vaccinated at his school due to the non-immuniztion form I filled out. I know about the precautions and everything, Just want to know if it is law.

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So What Happened?

Thnks for the all the great advice. I vaccinated my son but he has had some learning problems due to them. I took him to an acpuncturist and he have him some herbs to take. Ever since then my son had been exceling so much in school. My husband and granparents are so happy for him. My son used to feel real bad for himself. Now everything is clicking for him and his self-esteem has gone through the roof. My thing is that I didn't want to have to go through all of that with him due to travel vaccinations. We are not traveling out of the country anytime soon but just in case wanted the info. We thought of going to Dublin(where I read on the travel website they have foot and mouth disease), Greece, Spain are the main countries we would like to go to. Once again thanks for all the great advice.

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answers from Flagstaff on

I traveled to New Zealand a few years ago. The only vaccine I'm up to date on is MMR because I was forced to in college. I don't remember anyone ever asking about vaccinations. Someone mentioned it's required for a visa, but I thought you didn't need a visa if it's just a vacation. I only got a passport for that trip.

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answers from Phoenix on

Its always wise to have them. In reality though the only one you have to proove is yellow fever if you ever go to a yellow fever country. If you do not have it then your country of origin could refuse you back in. You only need to get yellow fever if you are going to certain countries. There are not very many countries.

You will never get asked about any other vaccinations while travelling. Its your risk.



answers from Phoenix on

I know from experience that they are serious about the yellow fever vaccine- they will literally give you the shot in the airport before letting you in the country. That applied to Egypt and Madagascar, as well as some others, when I was in Africa. I spent most of my time in Kenya and I was in my second trimester with my son at the time. I got vaccinated for polio, Hep A, meningitis, and took malaria meds. For me, the malaria meds were the most important, as pregnant women who contract malaria have a very high rate of fetal mortality (over 80%). I would find out the requirements of the country and also talk to your doctor about the risks of the vaccines versus the actual likelihood of encountering the disease. For example, rabies was recommended for me, but on further research I found that this really only applied if I planned on having physical contact with animals, so I passed on that one.



answers from Los Angeles on

As previous poster notes most vaccinations required are those by the country receiving you...not the one you are leaving. The gov't here RECOMMENDS certain ones for certain areas...but you really have to do risk calculations yourself.
I had drugs for malaria prevention but never took them as my travel got cut short before I went out in the boondocks. Saved my liver some stress.
Exceptions are pets (as I have found) going into rabies free islands like Japan, Guam and Hawaii where the restrictions and requirements are sky high.


answers from Phoenix on

It's going to depend on where you go.

In 2005 we took our then 2 YO DD to Switzerland for 6 months. I don't even remember if they asked about her shots! LOL And they didn't require any additional shots when we went to Thailand either.


answers from Albuquerque on

This is from

"The only vaccine required by International Health Regulations is yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Meningococcal vaccination is required by the government of Saudi Arabia for annual travel during the Hajj."

I'd check out their website for more detailed info on the specific country you want to visit.



answers from Phoenix on

As far as I know, if you have to apply for a visa for travel, proof of vaccinations is required.

A good resource to go to is
They have all sorts of useful info.



answers from Tucson on

In all my travels - I have been to over 20 countries - I have never once been asked for my vaccination records. Depending on what country you are going to (esp. if it is 3rd world) - I would look to see if they have a high percentage of any disease and if they do you might just want to vaccinate for that one.



answers from Phoenix on

Hi! I'm finally catching up on some old emails and came across your request. What caught my eye was the heading on your message. I discussed with my husband, and we both agreed that for time travel, you should definitely get vaccinations, especially if you'll be traveling to the past when some diseases were more common! :) Sorry, I couldn't resist making a comment on that one - it was just too cute! I hope you have (or had - I know you posted awhile ago) a marvelous trip! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! :)

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