Thursday, September 25, 2008

Questions and Answers About Immunization Recommendations Following a Disaster

Now that some of the flood waters have receded and the clean up after Hurricane Ike is fully underway, many are asking the questions below regarding life saving vaccines to keep them healthy:

Q: Will persons who have not completed the entire hepatitis B vaccine series be protected against the virus?

A: About 75-80% of adults who have received 2 valid doses of vaccine have developed a protective antibody level. Standard precautions to protect against exposure to blood or blood-containing fluids should be used. If a responder who is not fully vaccinated comes into contact with blood or body fluids, post exposure precautions should be taken according to previously published recommendations .

Q: Is it okay to get the hepatitis A vaccine around the same time as the hepatitis B vaccine?

A: Yes. Hepatitis A vaccine and hepatitis B vaccine do not interfere with each other and are often given together.

Q: What vaccines are recommended for evacuees of a disaster?

A: The major concern for anyone exposed to unsanitary conditions is that they be up to date with tetanus-containing vaccine, because if they are injured (as is common in disaster settings) the injury is likely to be contaminated. Routinely recommended vaccines are recommended for evacuees, just like they are for everyone else. Full CDC recommendations for vaccines for evacuees are posted on our website at

All Passport Health locations have all routine immunizations in stock and on hand daily. To locate the Passport Health Office nearest to you to receive vaccinations please click here.

Full list of Q&A

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pregnant moms, get a flu shot now and protect your child!

According to a study led by Mark C. Steinhoff, MD, at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University, a mom can protect her baby for up to 6 months by getting a flu shot while pregnant.

"Our study shows that a newborn's risk of infection can be greatly reduced by vaccinating Mom during pregnancy. It's a two-for-one benefit," Steinhoff says in a news release. "Infants under six months have the highest rates of hospitalization from influenza among children in the U.S."

Because a child under 6 months of age cannot get a flu shot and it takes at least 2 flu shots to be fully effective, there is a time gap where the child is unprotected. See the rest of the story here.

Passport Health locations have new shipments of the influenza vaccine already and have begun administering flu shots nationwide. To locate the Passport Health office nearest to you please go to:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Forecast for Ike: Ike is not backing down! Attention Volunteers.

"All neighborhoods ... and possibly entire coastal communities ... will be inundated during the peak storm tide," the weather service warned. "Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one- or two-story homes will face certain death."

It seems now with Ike gaining strength every hour, the people of the gulf coast are once again right in danger's path. The top priority of the nation is to get as many people out of harm's way as possible, but the danger does not end when Ike's winds die down, in fact, that is just the beginning. We were all hoping Ike would lose its fury before it reached landfall, but the forecast is just the opposite.

Always, in the midst of tragedy, people of our nation bind together and work with one another to help the victims. Our request is simple: Protect the Volunteers!

It is very important to be sure that each and every volunteer has the right information concerning life saving vaccinations; especially if they are Ike first responders, entering flooded areas, or engaged in reconstruction work. These vaccines would include Hepatitis A & B, Influenza, Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis and Typhoid for water exposure.

For more information about these life saving vaccines please visit our website.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gustav Volunteers, First Respondents Vaccine Information

Citizens of New Orleans, their neighbors, volunteers and all of us in the United States are once again reminded of the vulnerability of our infrastructure and its direct relationship on local economies. Although Gustav was far from being a “Katrina”, the eyes of the world followed the storm’s every move.

"I think we dodged the big one," commented battalion commander Lt. Col. Marc Kelly shortly after surveying New Orleans’ most recent storm damage on a tour of the city soon after Gustav moved out

Americans are quick to respond privately to disasters and will continue to drive and fly to volunteer on-site and reestablish communications networks, medical facilities and both off and on-shore construction projects as the environment demands.

To minimize the risk to responders, teams of volunteers traveling to the sites affected, it is critical to make sure that they are protected with appropriate life saving vaccinations. These would include Hepatitis A & B, Influenza, Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis and Typhoid for water exposure. Additionally, action plans that minimize the opportunity for certain vector borne diseases --such as Dengue Fever—to develop are important to implement.

Passport Health has and will continue to respond to the needs of responders and volunteers nationwide ensuring their safety and minimizing risk related to diseases: water borne, food borne or vector. The day after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Passport Health teams went into the most afflicted areas and immunized utility personnel, contractors and first responders, once again demonstrating the nimbleness and expertise of our nationwide staff.

To see a list of the location closest to you click here.