HELENA – Lewis and Clark Public Health officials urge anyone with plans to travel to South America or Africa to schedule a travel immunization consultation as soon as possible.

According to the Center for Disease Control there is a nationwide shortage of yellow fever vaccines. Any requests for the vaccine are currently on a first come, first serve basis in Lewis and Clark County.

Local health officials say that once the supply is gone residents will have to travel to Billings to get vaccinated in Montana.

County health officials also say that it’s always recommended to get a consultation when traveling to make sure you are protected. The immunizations needed for protection may change based on what you plan on doing.

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For example, people doing missionary work may need different vaccines than recreational travelers only planning to visit resorts.

Communicable Disease & Immunization Nurse Shelly Maag said it’s always good to have a consultation early in travel planning because some vaccines can take weeks or sometime a month before they fully protect you.

To make a travel immunization consultation with Lewis and Clark Public Health call 457-8900.

For more information about current travel vaccination recommendations click here.