Plan Ahead for Your Travel Vaccinations

The big Asia Trip that we have all been waiting for is just around the corner! Now is the perfect time to look into your travel vaccinations. According to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Traveler’s Health website:

  • Ideally, set up a doctor’s appointment (or traveler’s clinic visit) up 4 to 6 weeks before your trip
  • Most vaccines take time to become effective in your body and some vaccines must be given in a series over a period of days or sometimes weeks
  • If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. You might still benefit from shots or medications and other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling

There are some vaccinations like the Hepatitis B series (more than one shot) that need to be given over a period of a few months or oral Typhoid that must be taken eight weeks before a trip in order to finish the course for it to be most effective. Plan ahead and be prepared! Visit the CDC’s Traveler’s Health website for information on required vaccinations for each destination.

Unfortunately Multnomah County has closed their traveler’s clinic, which was the most affordable place to go for travel vaccinations. Travel vaccinations are quite expensive–be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars if you have not been out of the country recently and do not already have most of the recommended vaccinations. For an idea of how much these vaccinations will cost, check out the Travel and Immunization Clinic of Portland’s price list. Most medical insurance policies will not cover these travel vaccinations.

Places in Portland where you can get your required vaccinations include (but are not limited to these locations):

Oregon Health and Science University’s Family Medicine Clinic located in their SW Waterfront Campus: (503) 494-8573. Be prepared to wait a long time if they are busy because not only are they seeing travelers for vaccinations but they have their regular family medicine patients as well. It is a good idea to take the street car which will drop you off right in front of this building located next to the tram stop because parking is difficult and you may run out of parking meter time due to the clinic wait.

Travel and Immunization Clinic of Portland: They only take appointments by email and they also charge an office visit fee and a vaccination administration fee. Email:

Providence Medical Group’s Traveler’s Clinic: (503) 216-7000. This is at their Providence St. Vincent Medical Center location off S.W. Barnes.

In addition to vaccinations you will want to make sure any prescription medication you take is current and that you will have enough medication for your trip. You can also ask your traveler clinic doctor or nurse (some traveler clinic nurses have the authority to write prescriptions) for a prescription that you can get filled prior to the trip for certain antibiotics like Cipro, a common medication prescribed for traveler’s diarrhea.

If any of you have other suggestions for places for students to get vaccinated that might be more affordable, please feel free to comment on this post! (Note that PSU’s Student Health Center on campus does not provide traveler vaccinations–however, you will probably be able to score some free Band-Aids and hand sanitizer from them.)





Filed under Ali's Entries, Asia Trip

2 responses to “Plan Ahead for Your Travel Vaccinations

  1. Genevieve Tandon

    The MIM program sponsors travel medical insurance for the group as well. While most students might not think anything of this, it can actually come in very useful in the unfortunate event you do need some sort of medical attention while on the Asia trip. I ended up with a back injury when I was in Beijing and even though I had to pay for the full price of the services at the hospital itself, I saved all the receipts and was able to get fully reimbursed for the expenses upon my return to the US (minus $50 deductible fee). The process was easy and it was nice having the peace of mind the policy allowed!

    • Thank you, Genevieve, for this important travel medical insurance tip! Yes, students, do not forget to save your medical-related receipts in the unfortunate event that any of you will need to use health care services oversees on the Asia Trip.

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