How long do shots last? How far apart do I need to get each shot in a series?
The following is a list of travel vaccinations and “routine” vaccinations that are often administered at travel medicine consultations at my New York travel medicine clinic. In nearly every case, there are occasional exceptions to these details. Also note: this information pertains to adults only and does not include vaccines that are rarely administered for travel abroad, including HPV, Meningitis B, Shingles, and others.
Vaccines that usually last a lifetime:
- Chicken pox: 2 shots, 1 month apart.
- Hepatitis A and B: A: 2 shots, 6 months apart. B: 3 shots 0, 1, and 6 months.
- Heplisav-B: 2 shots, 1 month apart
- MMR: 2 shots 1 month apart.
- Polio booster: 1 shot. May need booster again if high-risk or required.
- Rabies: 3 shots (if given before trip) Day 0, Day 7, and day 21-28.
- Prevnar 20: 1 shot.
Last 10 Years:
- Tdap/Tetanus: 1 shot.
- Yellow Fever: 1 shot. As per the World Health Organization, this is good for a lifetime*
Last 5 years or less:
- Meningitis: 1 shot = 5 years, then booster if re-exposure.
- Typhoid: 1 shot (or pills). Vaccine = 2 years, pills = 5 years.
- Japanese Encephalitis: 2 shots, 1 month apart (or 1 week in adults) = 1 year,
then one booster if re-exposure.
- Cholera: Oral liquid (at least 6 months, possibly up to 2-3 years. Recommendations pending as of May, 2019).
- COVID-19: ???
Last 1 year (one season):
- Influenza (“Flu”)
For a list of what vaccines we carry at our Manhattan office and a link to further information on each vaccine, please click here.
*Yellow Fever Vaccine may still be required every 10 years for entrance into some countries and in some high-risk exposure situations.