We received a call from a worker at a health clinic that Val had befriended. The clinic had just gotten in a batch of Yellow Fever vaccinations and that we had better get there soon. First thing the next morning, we were all on our way, the entire clan. The clinic opened at 8:15, and we were there at 8:10.
Lesson 1: The quantities of the Yellow Fever vaccinations are very limited. First dips always goes to the military, and then the rest is dolled out to clinics in a region. Make friends with someone at the clinic so they will call you when doses arrive.
As the first people in the vaccinations portion of the clinic, we thought it would be fairly quick event. Alas, it wasn't. We proceeded to wait for 1 hour before being called back! Yes, 1 full hour and we were not only the first, but the only people there!!!!
Lesson 2: Be ready to wait a long time .... even if you are the first and only people there.
When we finally made it back, we met with the travel nurse. We shared with her that we were in to get some Yellow Fever vaccinations. She proceeded to ask us a serious of questions. The first one, "Where are you going?" Ah, that was easy, "We are going around the world." She gave a queer look. "I need a specific place please." I knew this was going to be an experience, but I wasn't ready for how mechanical it was going to be.
I looked at the world map on the wall and started reading off all the countries along the coast of Central and South America. The nurse dutifully typed them all in. With each one, she would pull back out sheets of information. At about country 5, I finally let the futility of the situation carry the next step. I said, "Look, we are just going to Brazil ... let's just do that one please." "Where in Brazil?" Ugh. So I looked at a map and named a city. "You don't need Yellow Fever for that one." Ugh. "Well, that is just our starting point, we plan on venturing deep into the Amazon river, and spend months and months there." "ohh, well then you definitely need Yellow Fever", she stated, "and you should get Typoid" (BONUS! We wanted that too, but were very focused on the limited quantity of the Yellow Fever vaccination).
Lesson 3: Find a specific place that requires you to have the shots you need, and simply go in with that on your agenda. Don't list every place.
Then she asked, "When are you leaving and when are you getting back?" At this point, I just made up dates. She was going by her script, and she was going to be very through (just as one would want a health care professional).
Val paid the fees: $110 per Yellow Fever shot, $60 per Typhoid shot, and $100 for the entire family consultation giving a grand total of $780.
I went first. KJ held my hand to comfort me watching everything close up. Next up was Val, KJ holding hands again. Then KJ. I had to hold her very still, and KJ braved the shots like a trooper. Next up Dy, she too did great. Sure, there were tears, but it was all good.
2 hours 30 minutes later, we were all done. The reality of the trip was made physical as all our arms were sore the entire day!
Oh, once we were done, there was only 1 Yellow Fever vaccination left for someone else and the clinic manager told us that another shipment wasn't due for 30 days.