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
These same pharmacists will also urge you to purchase a slew of prescription and over-the-counter drugs as part of your travel itinerary.
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.
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,
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.
You can read more concerning her
traveling advice here.