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Travel vaccine clinics at select health departments

Need international travel vaccines? We can help

From Alberta to Zanzibar, the postcards on Beverlyn Ming’s bulletin board in the Fayette County Health Department serve as a fond reminder of her small but important role in helping local residents stay healthy while they travel the world.

As the health department’s county nurse manager, Ming also manages its Travel Health Clinic, which provides international travelers with a pre-travel health consultation that includes the required and recommended vaccines specific to their destination.

The consultation also includes an individual assessment of a client’s health history, travel itinerary and travel risks through real-time CDC information regarding the health, social and political situations around the world. Additionally, the visit includes medication recommendations for the prevention of malaria, altitude illness, and treatment of traveler’s diarrhea.

Ming said every travel health visit gives her a unique window into the lives of individuals in her community she otherwise might not meet.

“Just from the nature of the questions I ask to assess what they need for their trip, I get to hear the stories behind why they’re traveling,” she said. “Sometimes it’s for a business trip, to visit relatives, help others on a mission trip, study abroad, or celebrate an anniversary.”

That’s how she first met Nancy and Wayne Musselwhite, when they had their initial Travel Health appointment several months ago to prepare for a week-long mission trip in April to the Evangelical Methodist Church in Ahuachapan, El Salvador, through their church, Fayetteville United Methodist, and several of its sister churches in the North Georgia Conference.

In El Salvador, the Musselwhites and 12 other volunteers would help construct a new school building, distribute food and clothes to communities near the church, and offer Vacation Bible School activities for over 100 children.

“Talking with Beverlyn was wonderful right from the start, not just from a health perspective, but she was just so professional and personable,” Nancy Musselwhite said. “Before our first appointment, we talked to her over the phone so she could determine what we needed. She was able to tell us what would and wouldn’t be covered through our insurances and what our out-of-pocket costs would be.”

Already updated with their COVID-19 vaccines, the Musselwhites learned that among the recommended immunizations for traveling to El Salvador, they needed vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid fever. They also were due for their 10-year Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis) booster.

They first visited the Travel Health Clinic in January for their consultation and immunizations, followed by a second visit in February for a follow-up dose of the hepatitis A/B vaccine. They’ll return in August for a third dose of hepatitis A/B, which is routinely given six months after the first dose.

In addition to Fayette, District 4 Public Health also offers Travel Health Clinics in its Carroll, Coweta, Henry, Pike and Upson county health departments. The clinics supply and administer all international travel vaccines and are authorized through the CDC as certified yellow fever vaccination centers.

Visits are by appointment only and can be made by calling (800) 847-4262. Appointments should be made at least 4-8 weeks before traveling, as it may take up to a month to complete some vaccine treatments.

The CDC provides individuals with recommended and required immunizations, as well as other travel health information specific to their destination, at cdc.gov/travel. Visit district4health.org/travel for more information on District 4’s Travel Health Clinics.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Natalie Shelton, natalie.shelton@dph.ga.gov or (706) 302-6707.