One of the most popular travel destinations is Europe. Whether it’s a summer getaway or a winter holiday away from home, Europe has become a premier travel destination for US citizens. But, many travelers don’t realize that they may still need vaccinations before going even to these well-developed countries.
Do I Need Vaccines For Europe?
Travel to Europe is different from trips to places like Africa or South America. European countries are often more developed and have few infectious diseases. Most travelers will only need routine vaccinations, and these include:
- MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) Vaccine– Over the last decade, measles outbreaks have become more common in Europe. Protect yourself with this simple immunization.
- TDaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) Vaccine– Due in part to immigration patterns, some diseases like diphtheria have resurfaced in Europe.
- Flu Vaccine– Europe was hit especially hard by the flu this year. If you plan on traveling during a high flu time (September to April) be sure to have the vaccine before you go.
But, some regions will require some extra preparation. The CDC and WHO recommend the following for specific nations:
- Hepatitis A Vaccine– This common foodborne disease is a low risk in France, but the vaccine is recommended for adventurous eaters.
- Hepatitis B Vaccine– Transmitted through sexual contact and contaminated needles, consider this vaccine based on your itinerary.
- Rabies Vaccine– Rabies is present in France but mostly confined to the bat population. If you plan on being in an area where bats are present, you may consider this vaccine.
- MMR Vaccine– Making sure you are up-to-date on this vaccine as it is very important for travel to Germany. The country has been a hotbed of measles activity over the last five years, meaning it could pose a threat to unvaccinated travelers.
- Hepatitis A Vaccine– Hepatitis A is more prevalent in Russia than it is in some other European countries. Because of this, the CDC highly recommends the vaccine for travelers to the country.
- Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine– Depending on when, where and how long you will be traveling to rural areas of Russia, you may need this vaccine.
While not technically a European country, Turkey is a prime destination for many travelers who are also visiting Europe, especially those who may be part of cruises or other tour groups that visit multiple countries.
- Typhoid Vaccine– You can contract typhoid through contaminated food or water in Turkey and many other nations. Consider this vaccine before you travel.
- Rabies Vaccine– Unlike France, rabies can be a serious issue in Turkey. Anyone planning to be outdoors for a long period of time and may come in contact with stray or wild animals should consider this vaccine.
- Antimalarial Medication– While malaria risk is low in Turkey, some cases have been detected. Speak with a travel health specialist before you go to learn if antimalarials are right for your trip.
Planning a trip to any of these countries, or Europe in general? Visit with a travel health specialist before you go. Passport Health clinicians are available across North America to serve you. Book online now or call us at .
What Other Health Concerns May Be Present In Europe?
The European continent is generally a safe place, but some additional considerations include:
- Bringing a diarrhea remedy like DiaResQ- Despite having fewer infectious diseases than some other regions, traveler’s diarrhea is still a threat in Europe. Be prepared before you go with treatments like DiaResQ.
- Watch for security alerts- In the last year, various security concerns have changed the European travel landscape. Be aware of what is going on, and consider registering your trip with the State Department.
To learn more about various vaccinations you may need before travel, see our travel vaccines page.
Preparing for a trip? Visit with a Passport Health travel specialist before you go. Our staff will provide you with the most up-to-date information on ways to keep you and your family healthy while abroad. Book online today or call us at .