The first time I went to Thailand, I planned the trip in about two weeks and I went without having Hepatitis shots. I’m a pretty adventurous eater while traveling so the thought of getting Hep was in the back of my mind the entire trip. In countries where toilet paper is not used by the entire population and bathroom sanitation involves a bucket of water, Hep can be transmitted fairly easily. So for this trip, I decided to become semi-bulletproof on the much needed vaccinations. Honestly, I think it is easy to go overboard on immunizations and I don’t need to protect myself from every disease possible but here’s what I did to prepare.
I called the health insurance that was offered through work and found out what shots would be covered. They told me that they did not cover travel vaccinations and I would be on my own for those. Well, I dug a little more and found out that they would cover shots like Hep A and B, Tetnis, and Diphtheria (wooping cough). So I scheduled those those shots along with the a physical exam that my company paid for as an incentive to get people to be aware of their health. All my vitals came back in good shape and there was nothing to be alarmed about. The Hep A and B took three rounds which were done over 6 months (1st round, 2nd round – 30 days out, 3rd round – 6 months out). I can say after getting punctured with that first round of Hep and all the other shots my insurance company would cover, I didn’t feel a 100 percent for a few days.
After those effects from the shots dissipated, I scheduled an appointment with Denver Health’s travel clinic. The appointment cost me $60 for the consultation and then I had to pay 100% of the vaccinations. I have to say that they were very thorough with the consultation and I believe it lasted for about an hour. I got shots for yellow fever which came with a yellow fever certification, IPV (inactive Polio Vaccine), and opted for the typhoid oral which lasts for 5 years. They also recommended japanese elephantiasis and rabies which I turned down and would have been an addition $1,240. If you google japanese elephantiasis, it will scare the hell out of you but the risks of actually contracting are pretty low. They also gave me prescriptions for treatment of malaria, stomach issues, and altitude sickness along with a stack of documents for the precautions of each country that i’m going to. The whole consultation was pretty useful with all sorts of advice on what to do in certain situations and gave me a mini education on travel sicknesses and diseases. I believe the visit cost me between $300-$400 dollars.
After a trip to pharmacy to fill the prescriptions, I actually opted out of the malaria treatment pills. Malaria treatment can be found in any country where malaria is prevalent for pretty cheap.
Travel Medicines I’m carrying
- Azithromycin – Stomach issues
- Acetazolamide – Altitude sickness
Vaccinations for trip
- Typhoid Oral