Needles, Mosquitoes and Rabies, oh my! – Getting vaccinated for travel
Back in early January, w e did so much research on getting vaccinated for travel that Andrew and I were forced to draw up a list of about a million vaccines that we may need for our adventure because we couldn’t remember them all verbatim. We came across suggestions that we get everything from the Rabies jabs to one for Japanese encephalitis, Malaria tablets to imodium, to help us avoid any…unforeseen accidents.
Going to places like India, South East Asia, South America and Africa was already making is a little nervous and we were freaking out!
Visiting the Travel Doctors
We booked a visit with the Travel Doctors in Wellington, for January 30, thinking it was ages away. Well, knock me over and call me a goose, today is January 30!
Our 13:30 appointment included us filling out a huge page of medical history, our families medical history and a list of countries we plan to visit. A couple pages of writing later and we were in.
We sat down with one of the doctors and together went through all the vaccines we COULD have. Pretty quickly it became obvious that we could spend thousands of dollars if we really felt it was required. The rabies shots alone were about $600. There were at least 10 things we could have had if we wanted to, but quite frankly we didn’t.
Then we talked through the important ones that you to have. If you don’t have a yellow fever vaccine, for example, some countries won’t let you in. So, after about 45 minutes of chat where the prospect of dying came up a good 5 or so times, we signed on the dotted line for our essential vaccines:
- Hep A
- Yellow fever
We declined the rabies vaccine on the promise we wouldn’t pet any animals, or chase monkeys that steal our wallets. It will be sad, but not as sad as death by mouth froth…..
Getting the jabs
Once the doctor was done with us we caught up with the nurse who administered the vaccines. Andrew isn’t a massive fan of needles and pulled such a face that even the nurse recoiled in horror! He did a great job getting vaccinated and was very brave.
Once we were all full of the vaccines we hung around to ensure nothing bad happened and talked through the other meds we might need to take away with us. We agreed on a handful of things and had those made up in a handy dandy pack.
The beginnings of our first aid kit
On top of a bunch of pharmacy goods we went with the following:
- Azithromycim (good for diarrhoea, cheast or skin infections)
- Acetazolamide ( altitude sickness)
- Doxycycline (Anti malarial)
- Gastrolytes (rehydration)
$800 poorer and with bandaids on our arms, we left the travel doctor feeling a touch woozy but happy to have made progress. Bring it on, diseases. We’re ready for you!