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So the shots were fun...

Apr 23

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4/23/2012 10:03 AM  RssIcon

immunizationSo one of the things you have to do before you travel to Africa is receive several immunizations. In our case the most important is Yellow Fever since a certficate of that vaccination is required along with your passport in order to obtain a visa for Uganda. This is administered in a standard shot and is good for 10 years.

Typhoid Fever is another of the more exotic vaccinations but instead of a shot (which they call a "dead" vaccine an only good for 2 years) I opted for the pill form (a "live" vaccine and good for 5 years; hey, you never know). These are 4 pills taken one at a time on an empty stomch every other day so the vaccine is ingested slowly over the course of a week.

Reactions to these vacines vary, but in my case i had an elevated temperature and overall woozy feeling, not exactly sickly or dizzy but not quite right. Last week I had a full-blown fever which may be more related to the ever-changing temperature in WNY (I write this in the midst of winter storm even though yesterday I mowed the lawn - go figure). Father Ron Sajdak tells me he experienced the same things when he frst got them so who knows?

In addition to those, for Uganda it is also suggested to have vaccinations for Hepatitithe s A & B, Meningitis and an adult Polio shot, as well as being sure your Tetanus is up to date. And don't forget about the Malaria pills you have to obtain and take while you're traveling! Some of these may be covered by insurance dependng on who administers them but the main two I mentioned above have to be done at a specialty clinc.

In my case, that was the Travelers Health and Immunization Center in Williamsville. That would be Sue giving the happy patient his shot. I spent about 2 hours there on my first visit and most of the time was spent on helpful advice on what to avoid (yeah, yeah - don't drink the water), what to do, what to pack and other excellent pieces of advice. It was greatly appreciated by this world traveller, let me tell you! I have my 2nd and final visit scheduled next week as well another trip to my own doctor for 2 more shots.  The fun continues...

Copyright ©2012 Gregg Prince

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