Part of our trip preparations was to get some shots!
Actually Lil Jon, we don’t mean those kinds of shots. We mean vaccinations!
There are a lot of nasty diseases out there in the world that we don’t want to contract. So, we decided to get ourselves preotected from those dangers.
Rather than try and figure out on our own what we needed, we decided to visit a travel clinic. They wanted to see us six weeks before our trip, so we went and visited the second-to-last week of May.
During our visit to the clinic, we first went over our itinerary with them to identify the different entry requirements the country might have and the different risks we would be exposed to while in the country. Once we had gone through all of the itinerary, they gave us recommendations of what we should get, and we decided what to accept. In the end, we went with most of their recommendations.
- Hepatitis A: Eric needed this one. Della had it in 2007
- Typhoid: Both of us got this. It is actually taken as an oral vaccine now
- Japanese Encephalitis: Both of us had to get this one. We felt a little unprepared to decide on whether we needed it, but we decided better safe than sorry. We will need to get a second dose of this in June
- TDAP: Eric needed this one. Della had it in 2007
- Polio: Required for entry to Israel and India, so both of us got it
So in the end, Eric got four shots (two in each arm) and Della got two (one in each arm).
We also got a few prescriptions for some pills:
- Doxycycline (malaria): this seemed like the best choice among the different malaria pills. Still going to be a pain though. Based on the time we will be “at risk,” we have to each get 220 pills!
- Cipro: Anti-diarrhea antibiotic treatment outside of Asia
- Zithromax: Anti-diarrhea antibotic treatment in Asia
- Diphenoxylate (Lomotil): Anti-diarrhea treatment similar to Imodium
There were a few immunizations we declined:
- Rabies: they said we only needed this if we would be outside reach of medical care for over 24 hours. We don’t think this will be the case very often, so we declined. Plus, this was a pretty expensive shot…
- Meningitis: recommended for group living situations. We will be in hostel dorms some nights potentially, but we didn’t think this would be often enough to justify the cost
In the end, the cost of this was quite high, but this was mitigated somewhat by the fact that we each have an HSA that we were able to use for payment. Also, probably better to pay the high cost than get the disease later!