Immunizations and Prophylactic Medications
All countries recommend travelers be up-to-date on routine immunizations. Refer to the Immunization Schedules provided by the Centers for Disease control and prevention.
Keep in mind that some immunizations require a series or spacing for protection (as long as three or six months for a series of shots), so allow as much time as possible for immunization.
Many routine immunizations are covered under domestic health care plans. It may not cost very much money (or anything at all) to update routine immunizations.
Travel medicine appointments
The CDC provides country-specific information about required or recommended vaccines and medications. For medications or immunizations unavailable from a local pharmacy or family physician (such as anti-malarial tablets or a Yellow Fever vaccine), travelers may need to visit a county health department or a hospital/clinic that specializes in travel medicine.
NorthShore Travel Center
The NorthShore Travel Health Center is located at Glenbrook Hospital, 2150 Pfingsten Road, Suite 3000 in Glenview (Medical Office Building North). Call (847) 657-5670 for an appointment.
Chicago-area Travel Clinic
Northwestern Medicine operates a full-scale Travel Clinic, located at 676 N. Saint Clair Street (Suite 900) in downtown Chicago (near the Northwestern Law school). Call (312) 926-3155 for an appointment.
Deciding on recommended immunizations (or prophylactic medications)
Whether or not to obtain travel immunizations or prophylactic medications is a personal decision that should be made in consultation with a medical professional and in consideration of one’s medical history, destination, planned activities abroad, potential for exposure and possible side effects. Some prophylactic medications for Malaria, for example, interact poorly with certain prescription medications, so it’s critical to discuss these issues with a travel health professional.
Travelers can save “time, money and discomfort” by reviewing the CDC recommendations in light of their itinerary, exposure and activities, and then if applicable, schedule an appointment with a licensed travel health professional.
Cost of immunizations
Domestic health care plans, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, may or may not cover travel-related immunizations, so it’s important to discuss this with your practitioner.
Attention Northwestern Students: Aetna Student Health recently made a business decision to cover travel vaccines the same as other routine vaccines. Referrals are not required as the vaccines are now considered routine. However, the Insured (student) should use providers that are in the Aetna Student Health Network. If the insured chooses to have this service outside of the Aetna Student Health network, then the annual $250.00 deductible will apply, and the plan will pay 80% and the Insured will be responsible for 20%. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 491-3621.
To learn more about vaccines available on campus and their associated price per dose, visit Immunizations on the Northwestern Medicine Student Health Service website.