Traveling Overseas This Summer? Read This First.

If your summer plans include any international travel, physicians with Memorial Hermann Medical Group (MHMG) hope you’ll put ‘getting vaccinated’ at the top of your to-do list.

How do you know if you need a vaccine and, if so, which vaccine/s to get? Dr. Juan Montoya, M.D., a family medicine physician practicing at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Downtown, recommends consulting the Traveler’s Health section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Dr. Juan Montoya

“The CDC tracks disease outbreaks in other countries and has the most up-to-date information on necessary vaccines. You can use their search feature to input where you’re going and what you’re planning to do to get information on the vaccines you might need,” says Dr. Montoya.

In addition, it’s important that you do this research a few weeks in advance since timing may be a factor.

“At a minimum, allow two weeks for the vaccine to become effective, meaning you’ll want to be vaccinated several weeks before your trip. Some vaccines may have several doses, so you should check with your primary care physicians about the correct vaccine schedule.”

It’s also important to be current on your booster shots, like for MMR and tetanus.

“Diseases that rarely occur in the U.S. may be more prevalent in certain countries. Therefore, it’s important that the vaccines you received for illnesses in the U.S. are still effective,” advises Dr. Montoya.

Dr. Montoya also encourages people to call their physician and ask about certain vaccines before scheduling an appointment.

“Not all physician offices carry all vaccines at all times. You’ll want to call ahead and make sure that the vaccine you need is available at the office, so you can be efficient with your visit,” says Dr. Montoya.

Schedule your visit with a Memorial Hermann Medical Group physician today. You can also visit your neighborhood RediClinic, located inside select H-E-B stores across the city. Through Memorial Hermann’s association with RediClinic, you’ll find the same high-quality care there that you’ve come to expect from Memorial Hermann, with more integration and coordination than in a stand-alone, quick clinic, and vaccinations are available without needing to schedule an appointment.

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Tashika Varma