While serving a mission, getting immunizations are not a requirement. However, the missionaries who are unable to receive immunizations, or aren’t willing to get them, will only be permitted to serve in their home countries. This is because the risk rate for contracting, or possibly transmitting an illness is not as severe.
To first be approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), or by a certified government agency that’s international. Vaccines cannot be done until then. Certain precautions must be taken because some vaccines contain live viruses.
MMR, chickenpox, influenza by nasal spray, yellow fever, and shingles vaccines contain live viruses. They must be given on the same day, or separated by 28 days before another live virus vaccine can be given.
At Utah Family Pharmacy, we understand convenience is one of the most important factors determining a person’s likelihood of getting vaccinated. Not only do we make vaccinations convenient, we go out of our way to make sure the process is as seamless as possible.
When getting immunizations, or even travel vaccines, there are certain requirements for different areas of the world. Meeting the correct requirements, especially as a missionary needing travel vaccines, are required.
Below are a few of the most common vaccines required when traveling to countries separate from your home.
For All Countries
- Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis: Tdap is the recommended vaccine. The first series should have been administered in early ages of childhood. A secondary dose is required within five years.
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR- live virus): This vaccine is not required for anyone born before 1957. Two doses of the MMR vaccine should have been received, usually ages 12 months and 4-6 years. If only one dose was given, or if a person is unsure, a second dose should be given.
- Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a two-dose series given on days 0, and 180 for lifetime protection. One dose covers for two years. Anyone from developing countries may not need Hepatitis A vaccine.
- Hepatitis B: Hep B is a 2 dose or 3-dose series depending on brand. The 2 dose series is administered 1 month apart. The 3 dose series are given on a 0, 30, and 180-day schedule. For the 3 dose series, at least 2 doses must be received before entering the MTC but gives only 60-70% protection during the mission. If only 2 doses of the 3 dose series are given before missionary service, a 3rd dose should be given at least 5 months after the 2nd dose during the mission or following its completion. The 3 dose series is approved for an accelerated schedule of 0, 7, 21-30 days, with a 4th dose after 12 months (or after completion of mission).
- Combined Hepatitis A/Hepatitis B (Twinrix): This vaccine is available and is approved for an accelerated schedule of 0, 7, and 21-30 days, with a 4th dose recommended after 12 months for lifetime protection. If a person has started Hepatitis A and/or Hepatitis B vaccines separately, Twinrix may be used to complete the immunization.
- Influenza: Either injectable or inhaled (live virus) vaccine should be given at least two weeks BEFORE entering the MTC during September through March in the northern hemisphere, and March through August in the southern hemisphere, to prevent epidemics under dormitory living conditions. Missionaries should be certain they receive the current vaccine. (Cdc.gov).
Living in some areas where vaccines aren’t readily available, immunizations may have to be administered during their MTC stay. Though a fee regarding which vaccines can be charged. All future missionaries/priesthood and family should do their best to complete required immunizations before moving to the MTC.
If you’re unsure of where to get all vaccines done, contact your local doctor or pharmacist. At Utah Family Pharmacy we provide vaccinations at convenient times and locations. Making sure any future missionary’s travel vaccination requirements are met.
Limited to Certain Countries
When assigned to a mission, each missionary will be made known which vaccines are required for their future area of service. Following that, they can appropriately plan to have their requested travel vaccines completed before leaving for the MTC.
Depending on where they are assigned their mission will determine if they need vaccines, if any. Some limited countries require more obscure vaccinations. Only need be required if administered to those choice countries. Following are a list of travel vaccinations needed if danger of the disease is imminent.
- Polio: Only missionaries serving in countries where polio is high risk of contraction need to have a booster shot. If their vaccination status isn’t clear, two injections of inactivated polio vaccine should be given at least four weeks apart.
- Typhoid: Two types of typhoid vaccinations are available. The preferred method is an oral dosing, taking one capsule on a 0, 2, 4, and 6 day schedule. The injection is a single dose, and is the method used at any MTC because of possible misconstrued dosing with the oral capsules.
- Yellow Fever: This vaccine is only available in travel clinics or health departments, and should be given before entering your MTC because of common muddled reactions (10-30%). If the YF risk is low, a medical waiver may be attainable.
- Japanese Encephalitis: Today’s vaccine is given in two injections four weeks apart. The second dose is given at least one week before traveling to the country of risk. Missionaries who stay at the MTC only 1-2 weeks MUST get the first dose at least three weeks before entering the MTC, so that the second dose may be given at the proper time span. This vaccine is required for anyone going to high-risk countries as the CDC advises, but only recommends it for countries where the virus is commonly at high population in cases.
Though you will be informed of which vaccines are required for your mission, it’s a great idea to take matters into your own hands and ensure you’re receiving all vaccinations that may protect you from prevalent disease in certain countries.
For further information on the specified countries that require vaccines to prevent disease such as malaria, yellow fever, meningococcal or others, we suggest you visit the Traveler’s Health well informed website.
Now there are a few vaccines we recommend to have administered simply as precaution. To protect yourself from things like chicken-pox, pneumonia, meningitis, or even shingles. Being only precautionary immunizations, these will not be required before any mission unless specified.
If sent to serve out of the US, most countries do require basic immunizations. To ensure you are meeting all requirements, it’s best to follow your mission guidelines and do personal research on the area you will be traveling to for proper travel vaccines.
At Utah Family Pharmacy, we can help any future missionary create and follow an immunization plan before leaving for their MTC. With multiple locations, we’ll help you find the perfect time and place to receive your vaccinations.
When choosing appropriate vaccinations before traveling as a missionary, it’s important to take into consideration outlying factors that may put your health at risk. Here are a few things to consider when choosing which not required vaccines to have administered before leaving for the MTC.
- Risk of exposure to the disease.
- Age, health status, and vaccination history.
- Any other possible risk factors.
- Reactions to previous vaccine doses, or any allergies.
- Risk of infecting others.
- Cost of specialty vaccines.
Update Your Vaccine History
If rural to the state of Utah, you know that a select few vaccinations were required for entry to school. Majority of these vaccines that were administered properly in childhood do require booster shots periodically in the future. Which seems to be often forgotten by most. You need to keep immunity by updating your vaccines and keeping track of when they were administered.
Some young adults may find they’ve never had the proper vaccinations completed. When traveling it’s crucial to protect yourself against diseases that may not be prominent in the US, but could possibly be in other countries.
Taking the proper pre travel precautions is important, especially for missionaries who could be moving to these countries. Booster doses and regular vaccinations for those who have had past doses. If you’ve never been vaccinated, you’ll need to be administered all first doses of required immunizations.
Utah Family Pharmacy can help all future missionaries and family’s update their vaccinations.
Missionaries: Get Your Vaccines Today!
With some vaccines requiring an administration schedule, it’s best to get started early on scheduling the proper vaccinations. That way you won’t have to stress about missing any guidelines or requirements for your scheduled mission and before leaving for the MTC.
Especially those missionaries wanting to travel outside of their home countries, it’s most likely some vaccines will be required beforehand.
Contact Utah Family Pharmacy today to get all required vaccinations administered. Preparing your life and leaving for the MTC can be stressful. We provide a seamless and precise vaccination service. Saving future missionaries from further stress and helping to prepare them for their mission.