County Health Department Provides Cost Effective Pre-Travel Vaccinations

It’s a well-known secret among health care providers in Indiana. The Clinton County Health Department is among the best places in the state to get travel immunizations. Not only is it centrally located, but Clinton County’s Health Department is often the most economical place to get vaccinated.

“Not every health department has a travel immunization clinic,” says Rodney Wann, Administrator for the Clinton County Health Department. “Our close proximity to Purdue University and our vibrant church community, keep us incredibly busy. We vaccinate a lot of students studying abroad as well as volunteers traveling for mission-based work.”

Conveniently located between Indianapolis and Lafayette, the health department vaccinates hundreds of patients a year against diseases like polio, yellow fever, hepatitis A and typhoid. Erich Schuerman is the Health Department’s Immunization Clinic nurse. “Requests for travel immunizations have doubled in just the past six months,” Schuerman says. “We’ve had people drive four hours round trip just to get the vaccines from us.”

Clinton County began providing travel immunizations eight years ago and was one of a handful of health departments who continued to provide them during the pandemic. As a result, its supply is plentiful and there is no charge for seeing a physician, which helps keep prices low. Especially since many of these immunizations are not covered by insurance.

“It’s important to get vaccinated at least 14 days before you travel, preferably earlier if you can,” says Dana Longenecker, a public health nurse at the Health Department. “This will give the vaccines time to start working, so you’re protected while you’re traveling. It will also leave you enough time to get vaccines that require more than one dose.”

If you’re planning to travel in the near future, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this list of destination-specific vaccine recommendations.

“When a patient comes to our office, we talk to them about routine, required, and recommended vaccines,” Schuerman explains. “Routine vaccines are those recommended for everyone in the United States like the flu vaccine or a tetanus booster. Required vaccines are those that foreign countries require travelers to have – things like yellow fever, meningococcal, and polio. And then we discuss recommended vaccines, those that the CDC recommends travelers get to protect their health, even if they aren’t required by the country they are visiting.”

To make an appointment for travel immunizations, call the Clinton County Health Department at (765) 659-6385, extension 1309.

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