Staying healthy on the road is a broad topic of discussion amongst globetrotters. There are so many factors to consider, including what vaccinations you’ve previously had, where you grew up, which places you’re likely to visit, and of course, what you can afford.
We started our research a few months ago, and determined that an initial visit to our family doctor would be a good place to start. She promptly sent us off to be tested for immunity against Hepatitis A and B. Our tests came back negative, which was a surprise since we both expected that this would be a common vaccination in South Africa, where we both grew up. We’d recently been vaccinated for tetanus and diptheria, so we could cross those off the list!
We then made an appointment to see a doctor at the local travel clinic to obtain advice on the remaining vaccinations we might require. Our 30 minute appointment started with us feeling quite upbeat and chuffed with ourselves as we shared the plans of our adventure with the doctor. I expect that our faces became more stern as the appointment progressed and the list of recommended vaccines grew, along with my sudden queasiness at the thought of multiple injections that were waiting at the end of our session!
We concluded the evening with shots for yellow fever, Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, measles, mumps and rubella, with a follow up appointment in September for polio, rabies and a second round of Hepatitis B. We both felt okay during and after the vaccinations, but the next morning we were both a little shaky and nauseated, with sore arms on both sides due to the intramuscular injections.
The price tag for this little cocktail was $320 each, with another $500 each for the next round. After this investment, we have a strong sense that there’s no turning back now! Got vaccinations? Go travel!