Mission Trip Vaccinations Guide

You’ve taken a big step by deciding to go on a mission trip to another part of the world. Your purpose is probably to provide help to residents of a developing country and spread a spiritual message. What you don’t want is for communicable diseases to spread to you.

To protect yourself, start looking into which mission trip vaccinations you’ll need several weeks before you leave. The exact ones you should get depend on where you’re going. Fortunately, your doctor can make knowledgeable recommendations based on where your mission trip is located and in what season you’re traveling.

NOTE: Some vaccines require multiple shots a few weeks apart to maximize their effectiveness.  Begin the process as soon as possible to ensure they have plenty of time to start working. Most vaccines last for several years, so there’s no need to worry about them wearing off before your trip.

Recommended Mission Trip Vaccines

  • Routine vaccinations: You probably already have all the routine vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as polio, measles, tetanus and Double check your immunization records, and schedule a flu shot and tetanus booster if needed.
  • Hepatitis A: This vaccine is recommended no matter where you’re traveling. It protects you from months of sickness and nausea that could result from ingesting contaminated food and water on your mission trip.
  • Hepatitis B: Since this disease spreads through contact with infected blood, working at a medical clinic or performing manual labor on your mission trip could put you at risk. A vaccine provides the protection you need.
  • Typhoid: Plan to get this vaccination for travels anywhere outside the US, unless you’re headed to Australia. It prevents a potentially life-threatening fever that can occur if you eat contaminated food and water.
  • Yellow fever: If your mission trip is located in South America or Africa, plan to get a yellow fever vaccine to protect you from infected mosquitoes.
  • Malaria: This disease is a risk everywhere besides Australia and Europe. However, there is no vaccine for malaria. Instead, your doctor can prescribe medication, which you’ll need to take before, during and after your mission trip for optimal protection.
  • Meningitis: While this disease is found throughout the world, you probably only need a vaccination for meningitis if your mission trip takes place in sub-Saharan Africa, known as the “meningitis belt,” between December and June when the disease is most common.
  • Japanese encephalitis: Mission trips to Australia and Asia present an increased risk for this rare disease spread by mosquitoes. Your doctor may recommend a vaccine to ensure your protection.

Check the CDC

The CDC website has useful travel information for your mission trip. Check the Travelers’ Health page for the latest health notices and updates you should know to safeguard your health before your leave.

Make sure you return home safely from your mission trip this summer – contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 to schedule your mission trip vaccinations.

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