A Shot in the Arm
No pain, no gain, right? That should be the sign hanging in the doctor’s office instead of the cat pictures lining the walls. It’s 8:30 in the morning and we’re sitting on crinkly paper getting inundated with CDC papers on recommended and required vaccinations for our trip.
Because we don’t know exactly where we’re headed yet, we’re attempting to get all vaccinations that could be necessary wherever we land.
The doctor walks us through our options, we make a few quick decisions (after having done our research before stepping foot in the door) and suddenly the nurse enters, carrying a tray full of different sized needles, viles and a smirk on her face.
I look at Dave who is panic stricken. The nurse can tell so she pokes a little fun at him. “I’m sorry we don’t have a treasure chest for you to choose from when you’re done.” At least she has a sense of humor..
We end up selecting the following vaccinations and prescriptions based on the CDC recommendations for the countries we may visit:
- Hepatitis A – we will need to get our second booster within 6-12 months
- Hepatitis B – we get a second booster in 4 weeks and then need the third 5 months following
- Flu shot
- MMR booster
- Tetanus booster
- Typhoid Fever pills
- Malaria pills
- Yellow Fever vaccine – proof of this vaccine is required for entry in some South American and African countries
We opted against a rabies shot and Japanese Encephalitis.
We could have been better prepared with our shots and started six months ago to allow us to receive all the Hepatitis boosters before we travel, but starting them does provide some protection from the beginning.
We are very fortunate to still be working right now and have good insurance plans. We will pay extra for the prescriptions of typhoid and malaria pills, as well as the yellow fever vaccine, but all other shots are CDC recommended in the U.S. so they were covered under our plans. During my first round of shots, my $20 co-pay got me $590 worth of vaccinations.
We still have a few more to finish since our doctor would only administer four at a time, but we’re almost there!