Recommended Vaccinations for the 10 Most Common Expat Destinations

Don't risk your health when traveling abroad. Be sure to get these vaccinations the CDC recommends.

One of the most important steps when traveling abroad is obtaining the proper vaccinations. Taking this step helps prevent serious health complications while abroad. As expats stay in a country longer than travelers, it’s crucial for them to find out about vaccinations before moving overseas.  

Why are Vaccinations Important?

international travel vaccinations

A single vaccine-preventable illness could negatively affect a person's health for life through residual health problems.

Not getting vaccines may also prevent a person from traveling abroad at all. Many countries require individuals obtain vaccines before traveling include the United States.

Some international health insurance policies require expats to receive vaccinations before obtaining coverage for the following reasons:

  • Some countries require expats to obtain vaccinations before obtaining a visa
  • Vaccinated expats are less likely to experience preventable health problems during their travels abroad, saving the insurance provider the expense of preventable health care

Recommendations for Travel Vaccinations

Before traveling abroad, expats can quickly and easily check necessary vaccinations. Expats should research their destinations in order to know which vaccinations they need. For example, those entering the United States will need to obtain several different vaccinations before obtaining a visa. The U.S. Department of State has a list of all required vaccinations for United States visa applicants. Other countries, such as Peru, have recommended but not required vaccinations (in Peru’s case, yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travelers).

In general, the CDC recommends all travelers receive the following routine vaccines:

  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
  • Tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (Td/Tdap)
  • Poliovirus
  • Influenza (in the form of an annual flu shot)
  • Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid and paratyphoid fever
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Rabies

Country specific vaccinations may require additional vaccinations to the ones recommended for all travelers. Here are the most common expat destinations and the recommended vaccines for each: 

1.  Afghanistan: Malaria (Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine), Yellow Fever if traveling to Afghanistan from a region with Yellow Fever risk.

2.  Argentina: Yellow Fever is recommended for travelers over 9 months of age going to Corrientes and Misiones Provinces.

3.  Australia: Yellow Fever is required for travelers one year of age and older traveling from a country with high Yellow Fever, including those who had a layover of 12 hours or more in an airport located in a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission.

4.  Brazil: Malaria if traveling to specific regions. Check the CDC map of malaria transmissions in Brazil. Yellow Fever is recommended for those traveling to the high-risk areas (check the CDC map of Yellow Fever vaccination recommendations for South America).

5.  China: Malaria is recommend if traveling to rural areas, though there is no risk in urban areas. Yellow Fever is recommended for travelers over 9 months of age going to Corrientes and Misiones Provinces.

6.  Iraq: Yellow Fever is recommended for travelers coming from a country with a risk of Yellow Fever infection and over 6 months of age.

7.  Saudi Arabia: Yellow Fever is required for travelers one year of age and older traveling from a country with high Yellow Fever, including those who had a layover in an airport located in a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission. Malaria is recommended for those traveling to border regions near Yemen.

8.  Western Europe (Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and other Western countries): No additional vaccinations required or recommended.

9.  Israel: No additional vaccinations required or recommended.

10.  Russia: No additional vaccinations required or recommended.

For the full list of countries and recommended vaccinations, check the CDC Traveler’s Health site on current vaccinations or the United States Department of State site that includes detailed vaccination recommendations by country.

In addition to getting vaccinations to prevent diseases, it is important to have health insurance in case if you get sick. Comparing different health insurance plans can be tricky, find out 5 ways to compare international health insurance plans.

Learn 5 Tips on Comparing International Health Insurance Plans

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or e-mail request@clements.com to discuss your insurance needs.