We are getting closer to the day of departure so it is time to get the right jabs. What vaccinations to get, well that depends on where you are going. Our trip is rather open, with no fixed day-to-day itinerary which means that we’re not 100% sure where we will be in, say, 8 months’ time. You also need to start thinking a little bit ahead, since for some vaccinations you need a booster jab and others take some time before they work. And something that I learned today was: some of these jabs you need to get when you are back from your travels.
In the UK you can get most of the jabs you need from your NHS doctor. Some GPs will charge you an admin fee to administer them, but they should be slightly cheaper than at the private clinics. The main site that the GP gave me was fit for travel where you can find a world of information for each country and which vaccinations you need. I went to our GP today and got a cocktail of drugs, four stabbings which included seven of the vaccinations that we are looking for.
Typhoid: Should be good for two years, though we still need to be careful with the water.
Hepatitis A: Should be good up to 18 months, we still need to be careful with the water.
Tetanus: This should be good for ten years or so. And it has been a long time sine I had my last jab.
Diphtheria: Also lasts for 10 years.
Poliomyelitis: Also lasts for 10 years.
Yellow fever: Now this one is the funny one, since I now have a little booklet to keep with my passport. I will be asked in some countries to provide proof that I have had this. This is also the one which has a live vaccine in it.
Hepatitis B: This one you really need to plan ahead for. Since you need three jabs to get the full effect of the vaccination. Day one, seven days later and then 21 days later. These three jabs should set you up for a lifetime protection.
Malaria: This one you really need to know where you are going as it will tell you what pills you need to take. So do talk to your GP and our local travel clinic. Also be prepared that if you are fair skinned or suffers from depression. Some of the pills you are taking can turn you into a strip of bacon and your travel partner will have extra work cut out for them, with cheering you up.
The other two, Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies we will need to get at a private clinic.
Do go and talk to your doctor to find out what vaccinations you need before you travel, and also go for a check up when you are back from your travels in case there are any follow-up jabs you’ve forgotten about.
As for side effects, that really depends on you. Following my first injections I was warned about backache and headache over the next few days. I have heard of others getting coldlike symptoms after their jabs. I had numb hands for an hour or so after, probably linking to the two stabbings I had in each of my arms. Six days after I had really heavy arms, like I had done some heavy lifting for the first time in a long time. That feeling then crawled up my arms to my head and then during the evening and night it started to move down my back to my legs. It was really knackering feeling, a bit like you were about to get sick. When I had my second Hep-B the nurse confirmed that this was my body reacting to
the Yellow Fever vaccination.
Since one of them even had a “live” vaccine in it, does this mean that I have little alien living inside me now? ;)