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Immunizations Needed to Travel to Europe

by
author image Viola Horne
When not working in her family-owned food and bar business, Viola Horne can almost always be found with a cookbook in one hand and a whisk in the other. Horne never tires of entertaining family and friends with both comfort food and unusual delicacies such as garlic cheese smashed potatoes and banana bacon pancakes.
Immunizations Needed to Travel to Europe
A vaccination book with a syringe sitting on top of it. Photo Credit PhotoQueen123/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

The Center For Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, divides travel vaccinations into three categories: routine, recommended and required. Depending on which area of Europe you are traveling to, you may not need any additional vaccinations. Always check with the CDC for up-to-the-minute alerts for your destination.

Routine Vaccinations

The CDC recommends all children, whether traveling or not, be vaccinated against hepatitis B, rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcal, polio, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and hepatitis A. Recommendations for adolescents include additional vaccines for human papillomavirus, and meningococcal. For adults, the CDC recommends that all routine vaccinations be up-to-date before traveling to any destinations in Europe.

Recommended Vaccinations for Travel to Europe

For travel to Western Europe including Germany, France, and England, the only vaccinations recommended in 2009 by the CDC are for hepatitis B, and rabies if travelers anticipate coming into contact with bats, carnivores or other mammals, including dogs or cats. The CDC says the hepatitis B vaccine is "recommended for all unvaccinated persons who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment, such as for an accident, even in developed countries, and for all adults requesting protection from HBV infection."

Additional vaccinations are recommended for people traveling in 2009 to Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, such as the Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. For tourists visiting those areas, the CDC recommends additional vaccination against hepatitis A and typhoid. The CDC recommends hepatitis A "for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in countries with an intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus infection where exposure might occur through food or water. Cases of travel-related hepatitis A can also occur in travelers to developing countries with 'standard' tourist itineraries, accommodations and food consumption behaviors."

The Center recommends a vaccination against typhoid "for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives where exposure might occur through food or water."

Required Vaccinations for Travel to Europe

As of November 2009, there are no required vaccinations to travel to any destinations in Europe.

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