Experts Recommend Staying Up-To-Date On Vaccines When Traveling


Sunday, May 22nd 2022, 11:11 pm


TULSA, Oklahoma -

Experts report a high number of people are expected to travel internationally in the coming months since many countries have relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.

For those trying to get required or recommended travel vaccines, experts recommend planning early.

Borders in parts of the world, such as Australia and Asia, have reopened, while Europe is relaxing some restrictions.

With all these changes, many travel barriers from the pandemic will disappear.

Victoria Sowards with Passport Health, which has travel clinics all over the country including Broken Arrow, shared with News On 6 what staff has been seeing.

"We're seeing a great increase in the number of people traveling right now,” said Sowards. “There's a lot of people that are going back into mission work into Kenya and other parts of Africa, as well as tourists wanting to travel.”

Sowards said she recommends international travelers get a consultation at least six weeks before the trip to go over medical history and discuss required or recommended vaccines, which could cost as much as $500 total.

Common ones include Hepatitis A and B, malaria, typhoid and yellow fever.

Those last three vaccines mentioned are harder to find.

"We know that vaccines are safe and effective and prevent diseases not only for individuals who are staying in Tulsa County but those that are traveling out of Tulsa County as well," said Ellen Niemitalo with the Tulsa Health Department.

Niemitalo said people have been calling about travel vaccines but the THD suspended overseas immunizations to focus on COVID-19 efforts.

"We have been rebuilding and retraining new staff and the goal is, like I said, all of healthcare to go ahead and offer those travel vaccines sometime in the next few months,” said Niemitalo.

Experts recommend reading CDC recommendations about your destination and having a plan in case you get sick while traveling.

Some places do require travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and all travelers need a negative COVID-19 test before returning to the United States.