July 24, 2013
It is practically assumed nowadays that if you plan to travel overseas, you must first receive a barrage of vaccines in order to stay healthy and safe, especially if you intend to visit any third-world countries. But as you might imagine, this general sentiment is based largely on pharmaceutical industry propaganda, which presents itself as reputable-sounding immunization programs like “Travel Health Services” available from Walgreens.
This popular drug store chain actually offers its traveling customers one-on-one consultations with “specially trained” pharmacists who are more than eager to jab you for conditions like yellow fever, meningitis, encephalitis, typhoid, rabies, polio, and Hepatitis A and B. These same pharmacists will also urge you to purchase a slew of prescription and over-the-counter drugs as part of your travel itinerary.
“During your travel health consultation, our specially trained pharmacists will review your travel itinerary to identify which vaccines, prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) products are recommended for a safe and healthy travel experience,” explains the Walgreens “Travel Health Services” website.
“Our pharmacists can also advise on vaccine-preventable diseases, dangers of sunburn, high altitude sickness and tips on food and water safety, plus provide you with additional information related to your trip.”
If this is not enticing enough, Walgreens also offers “Balance Rewards” points to its members for each immunization and prescription they opt to receive or fill as part of their trip — the more you spend on pharmaceuticals, the more you save! As you may recall, rival drug chain CVS Caremark launched a similar rewards program back in 2011 that offered its customers $5 gift cards for opting to receive flu shot.
Walgreens ‘Travel Health Services’ unlikely to warn customers about vaccine side effects
On the surface, the Walgreens “Travel Health Services” program might appear to be a benevolent resource that only wants to help travelers get the most out of their trips by avoiding the pitfalls of illness. But does the program adequately warn customers about the potential side effects associated with vaccination? Does it offer any nutritional advice besides simply throwing drugs at customers?
Based on the available information provided by Walgreens about the program, “Travel Health Services” appears to be just another sneaky tactic to drive more customers to its Immunization Centers, which are all about vaccinating as many people as possible for all sorts of conditions. Even though “food and water safety” is included as part of the travel consultation portion of the program, food and water advice is seemingly absent.
‘Superfoods,’ herbs and healthy eating can improve your travel experience, but you won’t hear this from Walgreens
Travelers who visit Walgreens stores will likely not be informed about any of the simple, nutrition-based ways to boost immunity and stay healthy while traveling. This includes things like supplementing with a potent, bioavailable form of detoxifying iodine, for instance, and taking high-quality, vitamin C-rich “superfoods” like camu camu berry and acerola cherry. Avoiding excess refined sugars and processed carbohydrates while traveling is another great way to ease the toxic load on your immune system.
Taking a potent probiotic regularly, and especially during the few weeks prior to traveling, is also beneficial as it will help build up your digestive tract. Since most of what constitutes the immune system resides in the gut, maintaining a healthy flora balance will help deter bacteria, viruses, and other infections from taking hold, and also protect you from many of the common “stomach bugs” that people encounter while traveling internationally.
The same is true for the essential oils lavender, lemon, peppermint, and Thieves and Purification, which Susan P. from PureHomeAndBody.com also says are an effective replacement for many OTC drugs and other chemical-based solutions.