Working out which vaccines you need before travelling can be daunting.
Heading off on an adventure makes you feel intrepid, but not invincible. If anything, the thought of the colourful range diseases and bacteria lurking out there can make us feel vulnerable.
A quick check of what could be waiting for me in Asia was daunting. I Googled Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Malaysia and the interweb suggested I get vaccinated for:
- Yellow Fever
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese Encephalitis, and
Granted these all present an horrendous way to die, but it seems like a lot, and probably expensive. Well, there is a shortcut.
Visit your GP and tell them your travel plans. It’s important to do this at least 6 months before you head off, as some of the vaccines need a series of treatments spanning several months.
Your GP will give you a travel itinerary from/ questionnaire. When you return it, they send it off somewhere and within a week you get a list of recommended vaccines. The system considers time of duration, specific cities and regions of travel, time of year, anticipated activities and so on to weigh up your risk factors.
My list went down to just Hepatitis A and B, and Typhoid. Rabies was an optional extra, but at $500 I’ll just avoid sketchy looking critters.