April 24, 2018
Portland, long known as one of the friendliest cities on the planet, is not surprisingly becoming ever more global. In the past few years, we’ve seen the emergence of nonstop flights from PDX to Tokyo, Amsterdam, London, Iceland, Frankfurt and Mexico City, to name a few. Portlanders young and old are increasingly embracing opportunities that come with the liberty to move more freely around the globe. Portland-area families host international student leaders from places like Iraq and Pan-Africa, building the kinds of lifelong connections that can change lives. Baby boomers who might have once considered puttering around in a motor home are switching gears and opting for cultural experiences in Asia, rainforest treks through Latin America, safaris in sub-Saharan Africa and bucket-list trips to Europe. Meanwhile, small local businesses like Steven Smith Tea have expanded to Seoul, South Korea, and The Portland Clinic doctors like ophthalmologist Dr. Ronald Allen are traveling abroad to underdeveloped tropical regions like Fiji on international healthcare education missions.
As The Portland Clinic celebrates World Immunization Week April 24-30, we want to interrupt the global trip planning for a brief moment to mention an important resource that just may save your life, and the lives of those around you: a visit to our in-house, international Travel Clinic. Headed by Dr. Robert Crouse, The Portland Clinic Travel Clinic is a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine and receives daily updates for any travel destination. Wherever your destination, we have the resources to protect Portlanders before, during and after travel.
Are vaccinations really necessary?
Although vaccine-preventable diseases have become uncommon in many countries, the infectious agents that cause them continue to circulate in some parts of the world. In a highly interconnected world, they can cross geographical borders and infect anyone who is not protected. In Europe, for example, measles outbreaks have occurred in unvaccinated populations in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Two key reasons to get vaccinated are to protect ourselves and to protect those around us. Successful vaccination programs depend on each one of us to ensure the well-being of our families, friends, and community. The Portland Clinic provides up-to-date vaccines for business, leisure and educational travel. Our travel nurses can provide you with individualized information specific to your destinations, risks, and medical status. We focus on prevention of disease and travel safety, but we can also offer testing when you return if you have any concerns about mysterious bug bites or a meal that didn’t sit especially well with you. During your scheduled office visit, we can provide the following services.
- Discuss and provide recommended and required vaccines
- Discuss and provide anti-malaria prescriptions
- Discuss ways to stay healthy, including water and food safety, diarrhea illnesses and other related topics
- Provide post-travel medical consultations with a physician
- Initiate any needed testing with our on-site diagnostic laboratory
Are vaccinations safe?
Humanity celebrated the discovery of vaccinations for good reason. Consider that polio can cause paralysis, measles can cause encephalitis and blindness and some vaccine-preventable diseases can even result in death. While any serious injury or death caused by vaccines is one too many, the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks and many more illnesses and deaths would occur without vaccines. Any licensed vaccine is rigorously tested across multiple phases of trials before it is approved for use and regularly reassessed once it is on the market. Most vaccine reactions are usually minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever.
Do vaccines provide better immunity than natural infections?
The price paid for getting immunity through natural infection might be birth defects from rubella, liver cancer from the hepatitis B virus or death from complications due to measles. In contrast, vaccines interact with the immune system to produce an immune response similar to that produced by the natural infection, but they do not cause the disease or put the immunized person at risk of its potential complications.
Are you current on your immunizations?
The doctors and nurses at The Portland Clinic are committed to keeping Portlanders healthy, safe, and immunized. If you have concerns or questions about vaccines or would like to speak with one of our physicians about vaccinations, please call The Portland Clinic at 503-223-3113 or visit ThePortlandClinic.com to schedule an appointment today.
Tags: Immunization, Travel Clinic, travel medicine