Whenever you tell someone you’re going to South East Asia one of the questions inevitably asked is: “Did you get your shots?”
If you didn’t know – there’s all kinds of scary little things waiting for you in the orient…
There’s malaria, hepatitis, typhoid, measles, mumps, and rabies to name a few.
Luckily there’s a shot (or pill) for ’em all. Of course most of it isn’t covered by our basic medical plan but I’ll get into that in a bit.
Some of the shots require a couple of doses spread a month apart so I’ll be back there in early January to get those.
There are a couple of travel shot offices here in Vancouver. I went to the Travel Medicine and Vaccination Centre.
One thing I was worried about was being “upsold” on shots I realistically didn’t need. I was put at ease by my family doctor who told me the clinics don’t actually make money from dispensing shots. They only make money with the $40 consultation fee.
So I went in with peace of mind knowing I would get realistic advice about what shots were necessary to take for my trip.
The consultation actually took about a half hour. The doctor sat down with me and went over the different diseases out there and based on where I was going whether I would be at risk for them.
Essentially, if you’re sticking to urban centers you should be good. And stay out of rice fields at night!
There are some places where malaria is prevalent – mostly the south of Singapore to Jakarta and in Laos and Cambodia.
For those areas I was given a prescription for malaryia pills. The one month supply is $20 and I got 3 months worth as you actually have to take them for a month after you leave the hazard area.
Anyway, onto the shots…
I received 3 separate shots today: Twinrix, MMR, and Tetanus.
The Twinrix shot is a combination shot for Hepatitus A and Hepatitis B. That shot actually is done in 3 doses – one today, one in a month and then a last one 6 months from now with each dose costing $75.
The MMR is short for mumps, measles and rubella. That one and the tetanus shot were both covered by my MSP (Canada’s free healthcare at work).
I also bought Dukarol as it’s for diarrhea. Although not a disease, I really, REALLY don’t want this one while I travel! This is two doses of a little cocktail you mix up. You drink one 2 weeks before you go and the second one the week before you go. In the meantime it’s staying in my fridge. That one was a hefty $85 but I’m thinking it’s gonna definitely be worth it.
Along with a $40 consultation fee, my total today was $200.
In a month from now I receive my 2nd Twinrix shot ($75) and a Typhoid shot ($45).
So, add in a couple of prescriptions for $50 and you get a grand total of $370.
I know this wasn’t really an interesting read but I know I would have loved to have read something like this as I was researching shots for my trip. So for my fellow travelers – there you go!
Now for something a little more entertaining:
40 days to go!