You’ve booked your mission trip and you’re busy fundraising, packing, and counting down the weeks until you go. Now is a good time to start planning the necessary immunizations and medical plan for your summer mission trip, especially if you are going on an international mission trip.

Immunizations are essential for your well-being as a volunteer abroad. If the thought of a few shots scares you, think about getting a preventable disease in a foreign country. Yep, I’d take the shots any day, too!

Here’s the Center For Disease Control’s (CDC) guide to what you may need to be immunized against if you are going to Haiti for your summer mission trip. And remember to take any questions you have to your healthcare professional. The CDC also has similar lists for each country Mission Discovery plans international mission trips to.

Hepatitis A – CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Haiti, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Malaria – You will need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you, and also talk to you about other steps you can take to prevent malaria. See more detailed information about malaria in Haiti.

Typhoid – You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Haiti. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Mission Discovery has downloads available to help you plan for staying healthy as a volunteer abroad. If this is your first mission trip, check in with your team leader to make sure you have all the information you’ll need to get and stay in optimal health for your summer mission trip.

Next week we’ll publish a list of essential medicines and personal care items you’ll want to include when packing for your mission trip. Stay tuned!