More Fun Planning – Travel Vaccinations

Next on my list has been to look into travel vaccinations. I know that we need to get them a couple of months before we leave, so wanted to make sure that we’re all set to go with enough time to spare. I’ve read a few articles, including this one from BootsNAll, basically saying that there are a ton of vaccinations, they’re all pretty expensive, so you really have to pick and choose which ones to get.

I started my research by checking out the CDC website. I looked through every country and basically made a list of everywhere we’ll be traveling to and then what shots are recommended for those specific areas. The only one that we absolutely 100% HAVE to get is the Yellow Fever vaccine, as they won’t let us into a lot of the countries we’re visiting without proof that we have it. The initial list that I made included the following:

  • Malaria pills
  • Hep A
  • Yellow Fever
  • Typhoid
  • Polio
  • Tetanus

Then, I emailed the tour group that we’ll be taking in the Amazon and asked them which shots they recommended. They added Hep B and Rubeola to my list. Then finally, I called a travel clinic in Columbus (my home town) to get their recommendations and prices. Here’s my updated list so far:

  • Yellow Fever ($115)
  • Typhoid ($80)
  • Hep A (need 2 shots, $95/shot)
  • Hep B
  • Polio ($40)
  • MMR ($90)
  • Meningitis ($135)
  • Tetanus

Well, that’s a lot of shots and a lot of money, and of course, none of them are covered by insurance, and of course, after calling my doctor, the only one I’m covered on is Hep B. But, I’d rather be safe than sorry AND if I got sick with something that could have been easily prevented by a shot, I’d be so mad… So, I’ll probably get em all. Plus malaria pills.

Now, onto Dave. His doctor can’t locate his records so we found out about something called a Titer test, which basically tests to see which vaccinations you’ve had and which you haven’t. After calling about 10 doctors, I found 2 who could do it. And, I called the clinic in Ohio back to see how long each of the vaccinations last for. My list one more time…

  • Yellow Fever  – We need a document saying that we had this to get into Nepal and India, so we both need to get it regardless. Once you’ve had it, it lasts for 10 years.
  • Typhoid  – Lasts for 2 years if you got shot, 5 years if you took pills
  • Hep A – The first one is good for 6 months, and once you’ve had the second, it’s good for life.
  • Hep B – Includes 3 shots, if you had all 3, you’re good for life
  • Polio – You need a booster as an adult, once you get that it’s good for life.
  • MMR – If you had both it lasts for life. Dave was born in 1980 therefore probably didn’t have the second one. I was born in 1986, and the doctor said I might have gotten it, but probably not.
  • Menangitis – Lasts for 5 years
  • Tetanus – Lasts for 10 years and is the only one covered by insurance. If you get a bad wound and haven’t had this for more than 5 years, then you should get it again.
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