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Vaccinations

When traveling to Africa, Central Asia and South America you should get a number of vaccinations in order to not catch any of the life threatening diseases. Approximately 1.5 months before I started to travel I’ve got mine. The doctor at the university hospital in Duesseldorf told me that I more or less need to get all available vaccinations since I’m travelling to many different parts of the world. The only vaccination which is not really necessary is the Japanese B Encephalitis when I’m not going to sleep with pigs in a rice field which I’m actually not planning to do. However, after looking-up the disease patterns I decided to still get this vaccination since quite a high percentage of infected people die from this disease and I would like to be on the save side as much as possible.

So below you can a list of the vaccinations I’ve got for my journey. The first five of them were still active so I only needed to get six more. However, for most of the vaccinations you need to show up multiple times to get a shot, e.g. for the Rabies vaccination you get four shots: on day 1, on day 7, on day 21 and after one year. And of course all the vaccinations will expire after a few years so you frequently need to refresh them.

Yellow Fever
Polio
Pertussis
Diphtheria
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Tetanus
Meningitis / Meningococcal
Rabies
FSME / Tick-borne Encephalitis
Japanese B Encephalitis

In total I’ve paid 810 EUR for the vaccinations and it will be close to 200 more Euros for the long-term refreshers in one year. I’ve got all vaccinations at the Amt fuer Gesundheit in Frankfurt which is very convenient since you can go there at 8am just before work and the time you need to spend there is often not more than 30-45 minutes.

In addition to the vaccinations I also need to take Malaria prophylaxis which you take in the form of tablets. If you are just going for a short 2-3 weeks holiday you can take Malarone which has very little side effects and most people get along with it very well. Malarone tablets need to be taken every day which makes it very expensive for a long-term journey. In total I will need to take Malaria prophylaxis for 37 weeks so my choice is Lariam which only need to be taken once a week and the total costs for the tablets is around 300 EUR. Although many people cannot stay with the side effects I went along with it pretty well on my past long-term travel and hope I will also this time.

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