Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you still get a disease that you were vaccinated for as a child?"
I know that when I was a kid I got vaccines for a lot of different diseases. Do these vaccinations last forever? Could I still get the diseases now that I am an adult. I'm traveling this winter to other countries and I'm worried about the disease they have there.
You are actually asking two separate questions. First, you are asking how long the vaccines you had as a child last. Second, you are asking if there are any vaccinations you need in order to travel. With respect to the first question, there are definitely some vaccines that you should repeat as an adult. In particular, it is important to have a tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis booster shot (Tdap) if you have not had one as an adult. It is also important to have a flu shot every year. With respect to the second question, you will need to set up a pre travel visit with your primary care doctor or with a travel clinic. They will help you figure out whether there are any additional shots that you need prior to traveling. This depends a lot on where you are going to be traveling. Most countries in Europe, for example, do not require additional shots. However, if you are going to be traveling in a poor country, it is often recommended to have typhoid, hepatitis B, and hepatitis A vaccines, and perhaps some others as well. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out what you need to do!
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