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Getting Your Shots

04/01/06

  10:08:45 pm, by Nimble   , 339 words  
Categories: Thoughts, Travel

Getting Your Shots

There are a few needles and such that you need to get stuck with before going to Africa. Yellow fever is the only "mandatory" one, but there are few others you are advised to get.

Hepatitis A vaccination proper is relatively recent (since I went to China, anyhow) - you used to have to rely on Immune Globulin. Typhoid comes in an oral "live vaccine" form now: take one pill of four every second day, and you're good for seven years. Those have quite alarming stickers on them, and need to be refrigerated. You can have the shot instead, which lasts for three years. Both of these diseases can be food-borne, which is why it's a good idea to get them.

I was a little surprised to find out that they now have available a rabies vaccine. It's pricy (I can't remember if it was $225 or $275 a pop), but impressive that it's available.

The yellow fever vaccination is also a live vaccine, and is injected into the fat, not the muscle, of your arm. If we feel woozy and tired in 1-2 weeks, it's apparently very likely from this.

If you have food allergies, vaccination can be tricky. The oral typhoid vaccine contains lactose, and one of the shots contained egg, but they're very good about going over all of this.

If you're a Calgarian travelling overseas, especially to somewhere "interesting" (e.g. Mexico, Asia, Africa), contact the Travel Clinic. It's located by City Hall. Make sure to do this well in advance of your trip, by a few months or maybe more, since they are occasionally heavily booked. Expect it to take about an hour, or a little longer if you have concerns.

There's one more vaccine we might book in for, that for meningococcus. It's generally limited to sub-Saharan Africa, but we'll be watching for other reports, especially since we'll be at Jinja near an orphanage. It's a bit pricy, though, and the risk is still pretty low for the location and amount of contact we will be having.

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