And I'm glad. Cuz hello it makes me cooler.
I feel slightly ashamed of my neurotic listmaking nature that if feels good to be validated in this instance. That as early as last June I knew what vaccinations I needed and just for curiosities sake, ahem, made regular visits to the cdc website and read all about the importance of childhood vaccinations and read about why there's a yellow fever vac shortage. Which just led me down a rabbit trail of possible apocalyptic scenarios and the importance of drug manufacturing companies and the relevance of movies like outbreak, 12 monkeys, 28days later, resident evil and sahara. And further reflected on how I could be so unwittingly naive as to get absolutely no shots when I went to Turkey in '04. Though sometimes I do enjoy a good gamble. Anyway it pays to be prepared! And it's one thing off my 'to do' list.
Anyway to the day I'm 6months out from my trip, which is apparently the absolutely latest I can go if I want the full round of shots. SO on the deadline, I made my merry way to the cheapest vaccination center in southern California...(previously extensively researched since they give it to you for cost) even computing the $25 I spent in gas getting down there was still not a significant loss in terms of savings. However I had not calculated that for full HepA/B immunity 3 visits would be required- which still a bargain cuz it's like "for life" sort of... but that's another $60 in office fees and another $50 in gas... sigh. Still. So far that's $97 for the (hepA/B, Typhoid (lasts 5 years), Office Visit) and $25 in gas = $122. Still to come $37 at a pasadena facility for Malaria pills since freakishly all my visits must be timed exactly and do not coincide on a Thursday when the doctor is in. . . $12 gas... bringing my total to = $280 some dollars for a couple preventative measures, lifelong immunity and gas... lame. I really had only calculated for expending $100. But I guess I'll get the malaria pills... I should right? Alright whatever.
So in order to determine risks, preventative measures-- quite a bit goes into the research of what you can get where, and why. Apparently spreading diseases to different countries is a fairly serious matter. Whatevs. And all of this builds to an unrealistic and paranoid measure of precaution and secret dread that you're going to come down with malaria after you get back and your travel insurance lapses. But then you read about things like love in the time of "cholera" or typhoid mary and old yeller' and you think hmm, maybe there's a point to all of this... and a thanking your lucky stars we have vaccinations for some very debilitating things.
Maybe... eh, I don't know. I'm hungry.
All of this to say I was a bit nervous carrying my oraldose of Typhoid pills because they contained the "active virus" and that I only had an hour or two before the pills deactivated and were rendered useless because they needed to be refrigerated... uh huh. Ok. Thank god there wasn't that much traffic!
Off to eat. Blog later. Pills tonight. If you're bored, read on...
So if you're still with me, read on about what my possible "can gets" are:
These shots are recommended:
Hepatitis A – is contracted via contaminated food and water. This vaccine is NOT needed it you have had the disease or have received two doses of the vaccine AT LEAST six months apart. (Two doses are good for 10-20 years). If you have only received ONE dose it is good for 1 year.
Hepatitis B – is recommended if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids; for example, health care workers, have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than six months in the region, or be exposed through medical treatment.
MMR (Mumps, Measles, Rubella) – To be considered adequately immune for travel to the above countries you should have had at least two (2) doses of MMR in your life. MMR is NOT needed if you have had the diseases or have had a blood test (titer) that proves immunity. If you were born before 1957 you probably had the diseases as the vaccine was not out yet. However, if you did not contract the disease you would still need to consider getting MMR.
Malaria – There is risk of Malaria in a majority of the above countries. If you are unaware of your risk, you can check the CDC web site (www.cdc.gov) or come in and check with our staff. We have the CDC Health Information for International Travel Manual where the risk of malaria can be looked up by individual countries. This is also on the web site.
Rabies – Is recommended if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation. Travelers with extensive unprotected outdoor, evening, and nighttime exposure in rural areas, such as might be experienced while bicycling, camping, or engaging in certain occupational activities might be at high risk even if the trip is brief.
Td – (Tetanus/Diphtheria) Routine booster doses of Td is recommended every 10 years.
Typhoid – is contracted via contaminated food and water. This vaccine is recommended if you will be spending time in small cities, villages and rural areas (particularly developing regions) for an extended period of time. The longer you spend time in regions with questionable sanitation of food and water the higher your risk is for contracting typhoid fever. We have the injection or oral typhoid vaccine. Both are only about 60% effective so food and water precautions must still be practiced. The injection is good for two years and the oral vaccine is good for five years.
Yellow Fever – A certificate of Yellow Fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries if you are coming from South America or sub-Saharan Africa. Please refer to the CDC web site (www.cdc.gov) if you are traveling to one or more countries that may require the Yellow Fever vaccine.