Whether your travel plans are for immigration purposes or simply to take a vacation, medical translation of your vaccination records is an important consideration.
These records are often required for international travel, so you may not be able to go anywhere without them, similar to your passport.
If you neglect to arrange for professional medical document translation, your itinerary may be delayed or even denied.
Vaccine Requirements and Recommendations
Some vaccines are recommended before you travel to another country, for reasons of basic safety. For example, you may be advised to vaccinate against malaria, cholera or rabies, depending on what the most common diseases are in your destination country. You should find out about any recent outbreaks so you can plan for vaccines and translations of your medical records accordingly.
Beyond these recommended inoculations, there are some vaccines that are required before traveling. Because you must provide proof of vaccination in these cases, medical translation of your records is particularly crucial. At this time, yellow fever is one of the only vaccines required for international travel, usually for those traveling to certain parts of South America and Africa.
As with any travel restrictions, however, each country sets its own requirements and recommendations. If your travel plans do involve a need for this vaccine, note that in most cases it must be administered at least ten days before your departure.
Traveling vs. Immigration
You will find that the number of vaccines required for immigration is generally much higher than the amount needed for travel. For example, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, immigrating to the US requires proof of vaccination against a range of diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, polio, pertussis, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, varicella, tetanus and diphtheria, rotavirus, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease, influenza and Haemophilus influenzae type B.
If you do not have proof of these vaccines, including a medical translation into English, you may be required to get these shots during your medical exam prior to immigrating to the US. If you are not sure if you have had these vaccines or will need them, you should ask your medical doctor, and then obtain the proper translation before making plans to immigrate.
Not all countries require immunizations as part of the immigration process — though those that don’t require them usually have a list of recommended vaccinations. If you are a US resident considering permanently relocating to another country, you should research your future home’s laws. If you are not going to an English-speaking country, make sure you leave enough time to get a professional medical translation of your records before you go.
Reasons for Medical Translation by an Expert
Having just anyone attempt to translate your medical documents is not a good idea. This is especially true if the translator you choose is not used to handling medical documents. Accurate translation requires that the person doing the job understands the common abbreviations and terms that appear on your immunization record.
Mistakes could mean that you end up getting a vaccine that you already have, requiring you to needlessly spend money while possibly ending up with health problems. Even worse, a bad medical translation may lead a doctor to think you have already had a particular vaccine when you really haven’t. An additional concern is that your inaccurate medical translation could lead you to being quarantined by customs or simply unable to travel, even after taking all the proper steps to immunize yourself.