In the Preparation overview, and in Pt. 1, we began discussing how to prepare for a tour across Patagonia. In this entry, we’ll talk about that in more detail, and provide you with helpful links to the US government sites which lay out the shots and immunizations which are required, or recommended in order to travel to Patagonia, and other destinations in South America.
From Pt. 1, we can see that there are recommendations and requirements that are put forward by the US Government, and other governments, and it is these requirements that will be checked as you attempt to travel into these countries. In addition, there are recommendations, which do not have to be followed, but are helpful to allow you to fully mitigate the risk of infectious disease, or simply to put your mind to rest that you’ve done all that you can to prepare for your trip.
Getting the shots and immunizations
I began preparing for my trip to Patagonia a year before the start date for the tour that I had registered for. I assumed that getting some of the shots will be difficult, will take time, or will take multiple visits to a clinic. As a result, I figured that I would begin to obtain all of my shots as much as a year in advance of my trip. I called my medical insurance provider and discovered that they will not even schedule a consultation with me until I am within 3 months of departure.
I was a bit surprised by this, but nevertheless, it is not something that you can negotiate, and in my case, all of these immunizations will be covered by my insurance, with a small co-pay obligation, so I decided to wait until I hit the “3 months to go” point in my schedule.
US Government Information
The Center for Disease control is the body in the US that addresses the concerns of travelers going abroad. You can visit the website for the CDC and obtain all of the information that you need to explore travel to anywhere in the world, but to save you some time, I’ve listed the information that is specific to a few of the key countries in South America that I will certainly visit on my tour of Patagonia.
I’m not an expert in the US healthcare system, but once again, to help you navigate the murky waters of some of these healthcare providers, I’ve attempted to put some information below.
Kaiser will supply you with expertise on traveling abroad, as well as the specific immunizations and shots which are required or recommended. To gain access to the experts for Kaiser, in Northern California, you do not need to get a referral from your doctor. Instead, you simply self-refer to the Travel Clinic by calling (650) 299-2015. This clinic provides information on the vaccines, immunizations and other shots you may need when traveling to remote areas.