Superlist no. 812

Check before you trek
Travel clinics give your overseas voyage a shot in the arm.

By Momo Chang

YOUR YELLOW FEVER vaccine hasn't been updated, and you leave for Kenya in two weeks. And do you even need hepatitis A prevention for Thailand? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are constantly updating recommendations for destinations around the globe. Is your general practitioner up on the latest?

To be certain you're getting exactly what you need quickly, consider this list of local doctors and clinics that specialize in travel vaccines.

All travel clinics recommend that you get a consultation at least two weeks prior to departing and have your itinerary and vaccine history ready.

Downtown Medical Center allows weekday-only drop-ins and usually has same-day appointments. The travel consultation fee is $23, and hepatitis shots are $75. Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., 450 Sutter, S.F. (415) 362-7177. Spanish and Chinese spoken. Cash and credit and debit cards accepted.

One of the few places that don't charge a consultation fee is the Overseas Medical Clinic. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can call ahead for a free phone consultation. Hepatitis A shots are $100. Mon.-Fri., 1-4 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-noon, 49 Drumm, S.F. (415) 982-8380. Tagalog spoken. Cash and checks accepted.

San Francisco Department of Public Health Adult Immunization/Travel Clinic is drop-in only and by far the most cost-efficient resource. Travel consultation is free if you purchase medication, such as malaria pills or shots; otherwise, the fee is $20. Hepatitis A shots are just $45. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 101 Grove, Room 102, S.F. (415) 554-2625. Spanish and Chinese spoken. Cash and credit cards accepted.

San Francisco On Call Medical Group offers same-day and drop-in visits, but call ahead to make sure the travel doctor is in. The visit fee is $65, and shots range from $60 to $130. Hepatitis A shots are $98. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 490 Post, Ste. 710, S.F. (415) 732-7029. Spanish spoken. Cash and credit cards accepted.

SFO Travel Clinic/Medical Clinic is located in the airport, and its prices are a little hefty: $50 for a visit plus the cost of any immunization, $90 for a hepatitis shot. Park in the Domestic Parking Garage, Section D, and your ticket will be validated. Mon.-Tues. and Thurs.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wed., 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-1 p.m., San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 2 Lower Level, S.F. (650) 821-5600. Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted.

The Travel Clinic at Family Health Center is a part of the California Pacific Medical Center covering people insured by Brown and Toland Medical Group's HMO. However, this is also a full-service medical clinic that provides travel consultation for $25, plus any needed immunizations, vaccines, and medication. Clients paying out of pocket receive 30 percent off the listed price; for example, a hepatitis A shot is $86.10. Parking may be difficult. Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m., 3801 Sacramento, S.F. (415) 600-2356. Spanish and Chinese spoken. Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted.

Bayside Medical Group focuses primarily on family medicine and pediatrics, but all of the clinicians at its Berkeley, Alameda, and Pleasanton offices administer travel vaccines. Visits are $55, and each additional family member on the same visit with the same itinerary is only an additional $35. Hepatitis A shots are $85. Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., 2915 Telegraph, Berk. (510) 843-4544; 2500 Central, Alameda. (510) 523-8162; 5720 Stoneridge Mall Road, Ste. 240, Pleasanton. (925) 463-1234. Cash and credit cards accepted.

Visit Doctor Christine Brozowski Cosmetic and General Practice for your travel consultation, vaccines, and prescriptions. Located next to Alta Bates hospital, this is a private practice. Don't let the office name fool you – Brozowski is a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine. Visiting fees are $65, and hepatitis A shots are $85. Mon.-Tues. and Thurs., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wed., 1-5 p.m.; Fri., 9 a.m.-noon, 2999 Regent, No. 520, Berk. (510) 549-3333. Spanish and Indic languages spoken. Cash and credit cards accepted.

Passport Health, formerly known as Travel Doctor Two, has two branches, one in Greenbrae, in Marin County, and the other in Albany. Office-visit fees range from $25 for immunization to $50 for immunization and a nurse consultation. Hepatitis A shots are $90. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., by appt. only, 1311 S. Eliseo Dr., No. 3, Greenbrae; 500 San Pablo No. 300, Albany. (415) 461-2866. Spanish and Tagalog spoken. Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted.

The Travel Doctor, in Oakland, has been administering travel vaccines since 1991. Call in advance for an appointment and to verify hours, as they shift with the season. The consultation fee is $45, and hepatitis A shots are $89. Wed., 1:30-5:30 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-noon, 350 30th St., No. 134, Oakl. (510) 763-5336. Cash and credit cards accepted.

Know before you go

Travelers can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site for general information on immunization recommendations and requirements at www.cdc.gov/travel.

At www.tripprep.com, travelers can search country-specific recommendations for vaccines and health alerts.