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Travel Immunizations (from Noah)


I got shot today. Twice. And I asked for it!

I visited the UW Medicine Travel Clinic today and started my travel vaccinations. I talked with a very knowledgeable PA about our trip itinerary, and all of the risks that we will be facing. I say all, since Linda was quick to point out that although diseases and infections are out there, and they can be immunized against (in some cases), you are much more likely to be hurt or killed in a motor vehicle accident or in some sort of vIolent crime. However, although you need to be vigilant and aware when travelling (of course), you can get immunized against some of diseases upfront.

Linda did a great job of reviewing our itinerary with me, and creating a report for each country that we will be visiting, outlining the diseases and other risks for each area. She recommended an online site called TripPrep (run by the same company that provides the Travax system that she used in the office). Once we reviewed the report and discussed the options, she created a customized document for me with the recommended vaccinations (in my case "Twinrix", which is a combo-Hepatitis A/B vaccine, and an adult polio booster), as well as scrips for Cipro, Azithromycin, and a Typhoid vaccine (I already had my TDAP).

We talked about, but didn't act on, immunizations for yellow fever, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), or rabies. Yellow fever, although a possibility in the Amazonian areas of Peru, is not prevalent in the high areas of Peru where we're going (Cusco and the Sacred Valley). JE, although a very nasty disease, is very rare for travelers (1:1,000,000). Rabies is probably a good bet for us, given the risk that all furry mammals have the chance of carrying rabies, and our kids (especially Leah) love all animals. However, the rabies vaccine is not typically covered under insurance, and has a cost of about $950 per person. Our thought is that since SE Asia is our highest risk area (lots of feral dogs and monkeys), we'll investigate getting vaccinated in SIngapore (which is considered first-world for medicine). We'll follow the same plan for getting our malaria meds (Malarone or Doxycycline).

Not the most fun time I've ever spent (especially since both of my arms are sore now from the shots I got), but I really appreciate the time and attention that I got from Linda and the UW Medicine Travel Clinic. I recommend them for anyone in the Seattle area that needs this type of service (in our area, the local King County Public Heath department provides a similar service). Anne is heading there next week, and so will the kids.

Posted by noahv 21:45 Archived in USA Tagged health vaccines immunizations

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