A few years back, after returning from Cambodia and Vietnam, a fellow traveler asked “so what vaccines and malaria prevention did you get?” I kind of paused and looked baffled then replied, “vaccines??” Maybe its growing up in Africa or maybe just sheer blind faith in nothing happening, but it had never even entered my mind to seek vaccines or malaria prevention. Heck I grew up about 3degrees south of the “malaria area” according to blood donor map when I donated blood at university. Maybe I assumed I was immune. My friend on the other hand was downright flabbergasted and shocked. Oops was pretty much my reaction.
This time, however, I have decided to ere on the side of caution. This may be older and wiser, it may be my mum wanting me to be extra careful, but most likely it is the Health Savings Plan that my work provides that covers pretty much all the cost. I guess there are some benefits to the working life.
Today was the day I met with the travel doctor and had the “how to travel safely” chat and which vaccines would be appropriate. I ended up with the first of 3 Hep A/B combo in the right shoulder, intra-muscular (OW!!!), yellow fever in my left arm, subcutaneous, and my little box of Typhoid tablets in the fridge, which I can start taking in 11min (have to wait 2hrs after food). A grand total of $355 this time round and still another 2 series of $140 for the Heps to be completed. Not to mention the Rabies vaccine I might need (I will be working in a wildlife refuge), and that series of 3 costs over $700….
With every step this trip becomes more real, and the more real it becomes the more excited I become, the more excited I become the more terrified and brave I am at the same time. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the planning! Stay tuned!