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Monday, February 22, 2010

Vaccinations Needed For A Trip Around The World

The world is full of diseases. In the USA, as in most developed nations, the common population eliminators such as Yellow Fever and Typhoid are no longer an issue. However, our family isn't staying in the United States, we are adventuring abroad ... into places that haven't yet wrestled down these killers. So, what do we do?

Please keep in mind that we are not physicians or experts on vaccinations. We are simply sharing what we've learned about vaccinations and our current strategy. If you are considering a trip around the world, you should seek expert advice before you make your decision.

At a recent wellness check up for our girls, Val talked with their pediatrician about what vaccinations we should get. Our girl's doctor has been aware of our trip for 3 years now, so she wasn't surprised when Val asked. After their dialog, plus lots of research, we've decided that we should all get vaccinations beyond the normal childhood ones.

The first major vaccination we will get is for Yellow Fever. KJ, Dy, and Val will receive this in the next few months. Fortunately, I've already had this one due to my worldly travels. To help stem the spread of this killer, some countries, many in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa, require proof that you've had this immunization.

The second major vaccination that we've decided to go forward with is for Rabies. This treatment doesn't really stop you from being infected, but it does increase the time needed between getting Rabies and being treated for it. Given that we will be in some very small towns way out from major civilization centers, it is prudent to go forward with this.

The final major vaccination we will be taking care of is for Typhoid. This one, however, we are going to delay as long as possible. We've agreed that when we enter the Pacific, we will begin taking the Typhoid pills. Vaccinations are tough enough on a grown body, but little maturing ones can be risky. The odds of having a deleterious effect from this particular vaccination seems to go down as physical size and bodily maturity increases.

An often over looked part of getting vaccinations is that many of them require multiple treatments over months of time. This has to be baked into any trip being planned. We've backed into a departure date of December 2010 the vaccinations visits we need.

Vaccinations of kids is a turbulent subject. In our family, given the potential exposures we will have, we've decided to go forward with a few more.


  1. What about Hepatitis?
    We've had all the vaccines you suggest in this post, but also included a TWINRIX vaccine.

  2. Hi Lotten,

    Great comment! You are absolutely right. Hepatitis vaccinations are very important.

    We are fortunate that vaccination for both Hepatitis A and B are part of the girls childhood vaccinations. Bill and I have both been vaccinated, as well.


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