Phileas French

Travel Writer

Phileas French

Phileas French

Travel Writer | Exploring every country in the world, one adventure at a time

Travel Tips: Where in North London to get Children's Travel Vaccinations

Image result for travel injection

Many people, most of all me, have been mourning the loss of the Royal Free travel clinic, which used to be a friendly Hampstead ground floor gateway to exotic adventures. Now that's gone, the alternative that I've discovered is Nomad Travel Clinic in Turnpike Lane. They have other branches as well but I can only speak for the one that I've been to. First off, if you're arriving by car, do as I say, don't do as I do and allow yourself more time than you expect to get to Wellington Terrace and drive helplessly past it, looking in vain for parking spaces right outside. It's not a neighbourhood I know well but on my second, calmer visit I discovered plenty of side streets with metered parking. Nearby Bury Road has a multistorey car park as well.

There was a short wait at the hugely popular clinic on both our visits, rendered agonising by my six year old pressing for information on whether injections involved needles, but nothing too oppressive. Once inside, the nurses that we saw were friendly and efficient. The nurses did a really detailed walk-through of what was required and what was advisable given our destination, and any possible interactions between the different vaccines. They had typhoid in stock, which was excellent news and not always the case. The kids also got their second dose of Hepatitis A which will sort them out for a while.

It was a personal (and expensive!!) decision but I opted for them to have the 3 course rabies injections too. A wonderful trip to Sri Lanka two years ago had a slight edge to it for me when they went without rabies cover...I watched the bats swooping low at dusk in Kandy's botanical gardens with paranoid, protective twitching instead of the mellow admiration of their majesty I would have preferred. I knew we would be visiting the rainforest in Panama and rabies seemed like the right things to do. I'm covered for years myself anyway following intensive prophylactic measures after a rabid squirrel attack in Maryland (yes, you read that right) and a booster for Bangladesh.

The children had no ill effects from their pincushion experience and the injections were administered with speed and compassion. The shop attached to the clinic has a fantastic selection of hardcore anti-mosquito measures. They are way beyond what you can score in your average high street chemist and unfortunately an absolute necessity during the current epidemics in the Americas of ghastly things you can't simply immunise against like Zika and Chikungunya.

I'd be really interested in my readers' feedback on this clinic, any travel clinics elsewhere that they would recommend, and their own experiences, good and bad, with children's travel immunisations.

Phileas French


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Sunday, 29 March 2020