Arcadia Physicians Travel Clinic
Travel Immunizations | Travel Health
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From our Travel Health Blog:
Beyond the Borders
Frequently Asked Questions
Why not see my primary care physician?
At Arcadia Physician’s Travel Clinic we specialize in preventative travel health. International disease risk is always changing, and differs greatly from the disease risk here in the United States. When disease outbreaks occur, the vaccine recommendations or requirements for that part of the world can change. Antibiotic resistance is present in some parts of the world. Some malaria medications do not protect in certain parts of the world. It is our job to stay current on these and other changing issues. Most primary care providers are not aware of these changes and do not have the time to remain current on issues related to travel. We know the intricacies of international travel that your primary care physician may not know. We also have vaccines such as Yellow Fever and Typhoid that most primary care providers do not have.
There are no vaccine requirements for my destination. Is a consultation really necessary?
No matter where you are traveling you will be exposed to exotic organisms. Many countries around the world have infectious diseases that are very dangerous, and even deadly. Most countries do not have vaccine requirements for travel. This does not mean that there is no risk.
What exactly is a vaccine?
A vaccine is a harmless substance delivered to your body to stimulate an immune response. Vaccines stimulate your body to produce antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases. If you are exposed to a disease after you have received the vaccine, your immune system is ready to fight the infection with the right antibodies so that you don’t get sick.
Do I need an appointment to be seen?
Yes, we recommend that you call ahead and schedule an appointment. Since some vaccinations require multiple doses before immunity is obtained, it is best to schedule an appointment 4 to 6 weeks prior to travel so that you have adequate time to build immunity. We understand that sometimes plans happen quickly and it is not possible to come in 6 weeks in advance. It is never too late to be seen. Some vaccines offer immediate immunity, and others have accelerated schedules that can be given in a pinch. Appointments are often available the same day or the same week that you call.
Is yellow fever vaccine required for international travel?
Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination as a condition of entry. Other countries have yellow fever risk, but do not require vaccination. Our staff will be able to address your specific trip and will make recommendations about yellow fever and other vaccinations.
Do I need a referral from my primary care doctor?
We can see you without a referral or prescription from your doctor. Doctor Tyler Southwell, MD is our medical director and oversees all care provided.
When should I schedule my appointment?
It is ideal to schedule a pre-travel consultation 6 weeks or more before travel. Some vaccines require multiple doses spaced over a specific time period before full immunity is gained. Other vaccines provide immediate protection. We understand that it is not always possible to be seen 6 weeks prior to travel. In these situations we will meet your travel health needs as completely as possible in the time we have. It is never too late to be seen.
Will I need prescriptions for my trip?
We will determine what, if any, prescriptions you may require in your pre-travel consultation. It is possible you may need antibiotics to treat traveler’s diarrhea, medication to prevent malaria, medication to prevent altitude illness, or other prescriptions that Dr. Southwell determines are appropriate for you.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Bring your full itinerary as well as any prior immunization records so that we can determine exactly what vaccines or medications you will need.
Will you bill my insurance?
As is customary in travel medicine, we provide services on a fee-for-service basis, and payment is due at the time the service is provided. We will provide you with the necessary billing information if you choose to submit a claim to your insurance for reimbursement.