Some of the most popular medical and dental tourism destinations around the world are located in tropical climates, heavily populated areas, or developing countries. As a result, many travelers from industrialized, non-tropical countries are quite susceptible to local pathogens and diseases. Given that the whole point of a medical vacation is to become healthier, it makes sense to take any and all precautions to protect yourself. The last thing you want is to have your teeth cleaned or hip replaced, only to find that you have yellow fever or worse.
Some countries have mandatory vaccination requirements, while others only have recommendations. And like travel advisories, these requirements and recommendations change from time to time. Your travel guidebook will probably include a brief list of vaccinations, but for a more comprehensive list, we recommend the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some vaccines take several days to several months to start working. Other vaccines require multiple applications that must be spread out over several weeks (sometimes months). Thus, you’ll need to plan your medical vacation accordingly. There’s no sense in going abroad before your vaccination and medication begin working. If you have specific questions about how much time you need for each vaccination, consult your physician and the two Web sites listed above.