BootsnAll Travel Network

Shots Suck

Today I did two things trip-related. I got two of my 10,000 shots (OK, 7 shots, but still!!) and went back to REI to further obsess over backpacks. Regarding shots have you by chance kept a rigorous history of all vaccinations you ever received as an adult or child? Yes? Well good for you — you’ll save yourself a lot of money and pain before traveling. For the rest of us, there’s needles. Lots and lots of needles (and lots and lots of MONEY).

A brief overview in the world of medical care for traveling to East and North Africa:

1) Doctor’s visit for blood tests and prescriptions
2) Blood tests to tell me – why yes, I HAVE received a polio vaccine and a measles-mumps-rubella shot in the past despite having no recollection of it so don’t need them again (woo hoo!). Also learned my triglycerides are slightly too high, whatever that means…
3) Prescriptions for

a. Malaria
b. Z-pack antibiotics for upper resp. infections
c. Yeast infection (???)
d. Cipro for all other infections, esp those that cause stomach ills…
e. Ambien (the BEST legal pill, EVER)

4) Shots for

a. Yellow Fever (don’t leave home w/o your certificate!)
b. Hepatitis A (2+ shots each)
c. Hepatitis B (2+ shots each)
d. Tetanus-Diphtheria
e. Typhoid

The CDC also recommends Meningitis and Rabies shots for East Africa and North Africa . My doctor didn’t recommend the former, so I need to investigate, and I think I’ll take a chance on the latter not happening.

How much can one expect all this to cost? Around $500-$750!!! Shop around, as your primary doctor may not be the cheapest. Mine was cheaper for Tetanus and Typhoid (the cause of today’s suffering) but a boatload more expensive for the others – almost twice as much. Look around for travel clinics, they may have better prices.

So yeah, shots really do suck.

PS: Backpacks – I can’t even discuss, I’m far too neurotic to go into now…

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