Over the last several years, we have seen a tremendous increase in international travel. From business or missionary trips to simply traveling on vacation, people are visiting more international destinations than ever before. With this increase in travel, people may be exposed to rare and exotic diseases that are not typically found in the United States. It is important to be prepared by protecting your health in advance to international travel. Here are some resources and answers to some of the common questions we receive here at the Valu-Med Pharmacy travel health clinic.
What are the benefits of travel immunizations and consultations?
There are many diseases that are rare or even non-existent in the United States but are prevalent in other regions of the world. Seeking advice from a travel health specialist can ensure better health on your trip and save you unnecessary trips to unfamiliar or inadequate health care facilities abroad.
When to seek travel health advice?
While you are finalizing your travel plans, check with your healthcare provider to see if any special immunizations are recommended or required. The CDC recommends seeking advice from a travel specialist at least 4-6 weeks before your trip. This gives you plenty of time for the vaccines to become effective or to complete the vaccine series when multiple shots are required.
Where to get them?
Vaccines may be available at your local pharmacy, your physician office, or state health departments. If you require a yellow fever vaccination, you will need to visit an office certified to carry and administer that vaccine. Here are a few links to find the clinics in your area:
What shots or medications are needed before traveling abroad?
Immunizations and medications will be recommended depending on your destination, length of stay, type of travel and time of year. A travel health specialist will take into account your medical and immunization history to determine which vaccinations are recommended for your travel needs.
If the person was born in the country they are visiting, do they still need vaccinations?
Yes. People born in foreign countries may lose their natural immunity as early as 6 months from their arrival to the US and will need to follow vaccine recommendations before returning to their native country.
Does my insurance cover vaccines?
Many health insurance plans, including Medicare, cover a wide variety of immunizations, but travel specific shots are not always covered. Check with your health insurance or pharmacist to determine what vaccinations are covered under your policy.
Is an appointment necessary?
Appointments are highly encouraged but we can typically work around any schedule. Ideally you should make an appointment with a travel medicine specialist four to six weeks prior to your scheduled departure date.
Where can I get more information?
Here are a few helpful links for additional travel health information:
Valu-Med Pharmacy is proud to specialize in travel health. Our goal is that the only thing you bring back from your trip is memories! Contact us with any additional questions or to schedule an appointment at 405-741-1200.