Travel & Immunization Services
Did you know that…
CDC data shows that adults are largely unvaccinated against preventable infectious diseases. The consequence? Disease Resurgence.
For over six decades, vaccines have protected us against infectious diseases, from influenza to measles to polio. Unfortunately, some preventable diseases persist because vaccines do not reach 100% of the population due to lack of awareness or the decision to skip routine vaccination. New data from the CDC show that:
- There has been a decrease in routine pneumococcal vaccination. Did you know that pneumonia infection, a sometimes fatal complication of the seasonal flu, can be prevented by this vaccine? The vaccine is recommended for everyone 65 and older as well as younger high-risk adults.
- Only 10% of eligible adults (those over 60) take advantage of the Shingles vaccine. Shingles can arise in anyone who has had chickenpox and often causes excruciating pain. Yet, the difficult-to-treat infection can be prevented with a simple vaccination.
- The importance of getting vaccinated against Human Pappilomavirus (HPV), cannot be overstated. The virus affects 70% of Americans in their lifetime and can cause cervical, head, and neck cancers. This life-saving vaccine is recommended for all women ages 19-26.
- Healthy adults who choose not to be vaccinated, infect high-risk patients, leading to grave consequences. This year alone, 10 infants have died in California from an ongoing Pertussis (Whooping Cough) epidemic, a disease once considered obsolete.
WOHA offers all of these vaccines. Seriously consider routine vaccination, and help us eradicate preventable diseases. One reason the CDC offers for low vaccination rates is a breakdown in doctor-patient communication. We are here for you. We urge you to ask, and are more than happy to answer all of your questions about routine vaccination. Learn more about routine vaccination from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID).
Be prepared and immunized for travel abroad. Variable health conditions throughout the world require travelers to be aware of endemic risk areas. In our DC metro area clinic, we provide up-to-date recommendations, pre-travel medications, vaccinations, and health guidelines according to your travel plans. Our professional staff are experts at pre-travel evaluation and treatment of post-travel illness.
We will evaluate your itinerary and make specific recommendations including advice on what should be in your medical travel kit. We can also provide you with an International Certificate of Vaccination to keep with your passport.
- Td Booster (Tetanus-Diphtheria)
- Tdap (Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertussis)
- Hepatitus A
- Hepatitus B
- Seasonal Influenza (includes H1N1)
- MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
- Zostavax® (Shingles)
- Yellow Fever
- Japanese Encephalitis
Medications for malaria, travelers' diarrhea, and others are also available. Appointments are available weekdays from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (Except Holidays).Please call (202) 463-6440 to schedule an appointment.
Your vaccination questions answered.
Tdap vs. Td booster - Which should I receive?
The difference between a Td and Tdap is that Tdap protects not only against Tetanus and Diptheria, but Pertussis as well. Adults should receive a Td booster every 10 years, while a Tdap is only administered once. The Tdap is relatively new, and was licensed by the FDA in the Spring of 2005. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommens that adolescents and adults receive a Tdap (if they have never received it) in place of their next Td booster. A Td booster should continue to be given every 10 years thereafter.
Is WOHA licensed to administer Yellow Fever vaccine?
Yes. In the United States, the vaccine may only be administered at CDC approved yellow fever vaccination centers; WOHA is one such location. International regulations require proof of yellow fever vaccination for travel to and from certain countries, largely in Sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Those who are vaccinated must be given an International Certificate of Vaccination, which we provide.
What is the differnece between Shingles and Varicella vaccine?
Zostavax®, the vaccine to prevent shingles, consists of attenuated (weakened) varicella virus at a higher concentration than that found in Varivax®, the vaccine to prevent varicella (chickenpox). Varivax® is indicated for vaccination against chickenpox in individuals 12 months of age and older. Shingles is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus remains in the nerve cells for life after chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, and it can reappear as shingles in later life. This occurs particularly in those who are older or immunocompromised. Zostavax® is reccommended for those 60 years of age and older to prevent shingles.
Is H1N1 in this year's seasona linfluenza vaccine? Do I need the seasonal shot this year if I had the H1N1 shot last year?
Yes and Yes! The flu season can last through May and the best way to prevent the flu is to be vaccinated. Each year, the seasonal flu vaccine consists of three different influenza strains. Experts use the most recent data to select the strains most likely to cause seasonal flu any given year. It was projected that the H1N1strain that caused the 2009-10 pandemic would still circulate this season. Thus, this year's seasonal shot includes the H1N1 strain as well as H3N2 and Influenza B. Your immunity fades over time, so even if your received the H1N1 vaccine last year, the 2010-2011 seasonal vaccine is necessary to both rebuild your immunity against H1N1 and protect against the new strains selected this season.
What is thimerosal? Is it safe?
Thimerosal is a preservative used in vaccines since the 1930's. Preservatives are essential to help prevent potentially life threatening contamination of vaccine with harmful microbes. Concern about thimerosal stems from the fact that it is a form of mercury. Thimerosal is made of ethyl mercury, however, which is different from methyl mercury (the type found in fish). There has been a large effort to reduce thimerosal in vaccines to trace levels, which are largely accepted by the scientific community to pose no harm. Some vaccines, such as Td, are also now available in formulations that are free of thimerosal. If you are concerned about thimerosal, do not hesitate to speak with our physicians.