Travel in Mexico
you go abroad, make certain that you get all of necessary immunizations.
To assess your child's immunization needs, check with your primary care
physician or refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for
guidelines. We recommend these additional vaccinations when
traveling to Mexico. You can get them from your doctor, or at the State
Department of Health. The Internet addresses for each US State
Department of Health are listed here.
Hepatitis A is widespread throughout Mexico, so anyone--except for
children under two years and pregnant women--should be vaccinated at
least four weeks before departure. (You may be vaccinated up to two
weeks before departure, but this yields only a 45 percent protection
rate.) You should receive a second vaccination six months later for
long-term protection. Children under two and pregnant women should
receive the Hepatitis A immunoglobulin injection (this is not the
vaccine), as should travelers who will be leaving for Mexico in less
than two weeks.
Hepatitis B is transmitted from person-to-person through the exchange
of bodily fluids such as, semen or blood. If there is any chance that
you might have this type of exposure, then you we should suggest
vaccination against Hepatitis B. As in the United States, all
healthcare workers and anyone whose occupation puts them in contact with
blood and blood products should be vaccinated. This disease can also be
transmitted through the use of contaminated personal items that have the
potential to break the skin, such as combs, razors, or manicuring tools.
People receiving manicures and pedicures at resorts should ascertain
that the instruments used are sterilized. To confer immunity against
Hepatitis B, you should receive a series of three injectable
vaccinations at day 1, day 30, and 6 months.
We do not routinely advise vaccination against rabies, unless you
foresee heavy exposure to undomesticated animals. This would include
traveling to rural or remote regions where access to medical care might
be limited. The vaccination series for rabies includes four injections
over a 28-day period. Contact your state or local health department for
information on where you can receive a rabies vaccination.
Yellow Fever is very rare among travelers. In Mexico, it is not a
required vaccination, but we recommend it for people traveling to
tropical regions of Mexico. Do not give the vaccination to infants less
than four months old (and it is best to defer vaccination until age 9 to
12 months.) pregnant women, or people with egg allergies or an immuno-suppressed
condition such as HIV without the diagnosis of Autoimmune Deficiency
Syndrome (AIDS), organ transplant recipients, or cancer may receive the
vaccination if an infectious disease or travel medicine specialist deems
the risk of infection to be significant. Call your local doctor for her
advice. A single vaccination
lasts ten years.
Typhoid is not a required vaccination for those traveling to Mexico.
However, we recommend the vaccine for people who will be traveling to
smaller cities or rural destinations. The injectable vaccine is no
longer available in the US market. The oral typhoid vaccine, Ty21a,
produced by Vivotif Berna of the Swiss Serum and Vaccine Institute,
consists of four doses given every 48 hours until completion. It is
available for people six years of age and older. The vaccine has about a
50 to 80 percent efficacy rating, and you should get a booster every
The vaccine has not been tested in pregnant women and we cannot
recommend it for them. The oral vaccination consists of a live,
attenuated virus and should not be given to immuno-compromised
travelers, including those infected with HIV. The ViCPS vaccine is a
safer choice for these people. Mefloquine and Proguanil, the
anti-malarial drugs, and many antibiotics inhibit the Ty21a virus in
test-tube studies. There is a theoretical concern that the vaccine may
not be as effective if given while you are taking these other
medications. Chloroquine, another antimalerial, does not affect the
Ty21a virus. Serious reactions to the vaccine are rare, but some people
complain of mild abdominal pain and/or generalized itching, nausea, or
To find out where you can receive a typhoid vaccination and for
information on vaccinations for children under the age of two, consult
with your local or state health department. Additional guidelines for
the oral, Ty21a vaccine: Keep the capsules refrigerated, but not frozen.
Take each capsule with cool liquid on an empty stomach.
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