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Why getting vaccinated should be on the top of your travel checklist

Planning a trip to Europe, Latin America, Asia or Africa? You might need to head to the doctor first.

ST. LOUIS — Booking a vacation requires a lot of budgeting and planning for flights, hotels, food and excursions. However, not many Americans include health and safety precautions in their plans.

Passport Health St. Louis is a one-stop shop for travel vaccines and medications. L’tanya Garrison, the owner, said health should be at the top of everyone’s list.

“In general, health is not the first thing people think about when they first start thinking about international travel,” Garrison said.

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5 On Your Side’s Jenn Sullivan has been planning a trip to Egypt with her boyfriend all summer. Just when they thought all the planning was finally done, they stumbled across a warning from the CDC about getting certain vaccines before traveling there.

According the CDC, anyone traveling to Egypt should get a Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccine. Travelers should also make sure they’re current on their Tetanus shots and consider getting Hepatitis B.

Garrison, who has been to Egypt, said the water and food there can have viruses and bacteria that can make travelers violently ill, which is why Typhoid and Hep A vaccines are so important.

However, it’s not just places in Africa where visitors need to be vaccinated. Anyone going to Europe needs to make sure they’ve been vaccinated for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

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For a trip to Asia, travelers may be required to get a Yellow Fever vaccine, Typhoid and a Polio booster. Polio is a vaccine most Americans get when they’re younger, but Garrison said that vaccine expires.

“It’s not a problem when you stay in the United Sates but when you start traveling internationally, you need to consider whether to get those boosted,” she said.

Even for a beach getaway to Latin America, visitors should get Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Typhoid.

Garrison said travelers may need additional vaccinations based on what they plan on doing during their vacation.

“Some people are more adventurous and like to eat and experience the culture more. That’s fine, but then you need to know I need to do a few more things because I’m exposing myself to more risk,” she explained.

That’s why it’s important to research online which vaccines are recommended and how far out from your trip you should get them.

For the CDC's vaccine recommendations, click here.