At CBF, our hope is to provide adequate training and preparation for every volunteer preparing to serve short-term in Haiti with our CBF representatives and partners. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends anyone traveling to Haiti receive: Tetanus Booster, Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, and Anti-malarial medication.
Although these vaccinations are not difficult to receive, at times the vaccines themselves can be hard to find in certain areas, and in the case of the Hepatitis A & B, adequate time is needed to receive the doses. With many groups having tight travel schedules, vaccinations can be problematic. Here is a more information about whether you need a vaccine, and how to go about doing this with limited time before you depart:
Hepatitis A vaccine: The protective levels of antibody to HAV lasts for at least 25 years in adults and at least 14-20 years if received when a child. Booster shots are not recommended (www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HAV/HAVFAQ.htm). The CDC website recommends having the vaccination at least once any time before departure for people under 40 years old. Those over 40 years old, however, should receive the Hep A vaccine again along with the Immune Globulin again at least two weeks before their trip. Do you need to get this vaccine?
Hepatitis B vaccine: The protective antibody to HBV lasts for at least 20 years among healthy vaccinated individuals (http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HBV/HBVFAQ.htm). If traveler to Haiti decides to receive another dosage, the CDC recommends this vaccination at least 6 months prior to travel.
*GOOD NEWS for volunteers needing both vaccinations before traveling to Haiti: In 2007, the CDC announced an accelerated schedule for receiving both the Hep A and B vaccinations in a period of ONE MONTH. It is called the Twinrix vaccine. Follow this link to learn more! http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5037a4.htm