Travel Medicine Specialist

Ben Littlejohn III, MD

Family Medicine located in East Bay Area, Emeryville, CA

When you’re preparing to visit another country, packing your bags is just a small part of the prep. You can’t enter most foreign countries unless you have the proper vaccinations, and that’s where Ben Littlejohn III, MD, steps in to help. At his Emeryville, California, office, Dr. Littlejohn offers comprehensive travel medicine services to help you prepare for a safe and successful trip. Call the office or click the online scheduler to set up your appointment.

Travel Medicine Q & A

What is travel medicine?

Travel medicine focuses on medical preparation for trips outside the United States. Other countries often have very different health concerns and issues than America, and travel medicine is preventive medicine to keep you safe wherever you plan to go. 

How do I know which vaccinations I need for travel?

To know which vaccinations you’ll need, you must put together a complete trip itinerary. Include a list of all areas to which you’re planning to travel, even if it’s just a cruise ship stop for a few hours. 

Dr. Littlejohn reviews your trip itinerary to determine which vaccinations are routine, required, and recommended for travel in the areas where you’re going.

How are routine, required, and recommended vaccines different?

Generally, vaccines for travel are split into three different groups: routine, required, and recommended. 


Routine vaccines are those that the CDC recommends for virtually everyone in the United States. These include all the standard childhood vaccines, adult vaccines like Tdap boosters every 10 years, and influenza vaccines for all ages. 


Required vaccines are those required to enter a country. Depending on the country, required vaccines may include those that most Americans don’t get routinely. These can include yellow fever vaccines for Africa and South Africa, typhoid vaccines for India and Pakistan, and other specific vaccines that vary by area. 

Recommended vaccines

Recommended vaccines vary by country. For example, typhoid vaccines might not be required for certain countries. But it’s often recommended because the vaccine can prevent you from getting sick through water or food in a foreign country where the disease is prevalent. 

Dr. Littlejohn explains which vaccines fit into each category and makes personalized recommendations for your travel. 

When should I schedule my travel medicine appointment?

Generally, you should book a travel medicine appointment a minimum of a month ahead of your planned travel outside the country. It takes the vaccines around 4-6 weeks to start working, so it’s important to have some immunity already built up before exposing yourself to potential illnesses. 

For travel medicine consultations, it’s important to work with a provider who’s willing to customize your care. Ben Littlejohn III, MD, is here for you and all your travel medicine needs, so call the office or click the online scheduling tool to book your appointment.