Q: I'm leaving the urban jungle for the real one -- in Africa. Which shots do I need, and where can I get them?
A: While your doctor can find out which vaccinations you need, a travel clinic will go further to ensure you don't bring home any unwanted keepsakes -- like, say, a tapeworm. Beyond shots (which cost extra), they'll arm you with the do's and don'ts of local food and drink, prescriptions if needed, and a list of over-the-counter remedies for trip-wreckers like jet lag and food poisoning.
At Travel Health Services (50 East 69th Street; 212-734-3000), Dr. Bradley A. Connor considers current vaccines and recent outbreaks when reviewing a patient's itinerary. The $60 consultation (with a travel nurse) allows you round-the-clock access to Dr. Connor during your trip.
Traveler's Medical Service (595 Madison Avenue, at 57th Street; 212-230-1020) charges $40 for a consultation with a travel-health specialist, or $200 to meet with medical director Dr. Alberto Acosta. Either way, expect more than just a few jabs in the arm: The clinic isn't afraid to inundate clients with details of constipation and traveler's diarrhea.
Dr. Scott Kalish (Center for Travelers' Health & Immunization, 133 East 73rd Street; 212-861-9000) spends as much as 90 minutes with each patient, carefully weighing the benefits of each vaccine against the cost and potential side effects. The visit will run you $100, or $150 for you and a traveling companion.