Sensible planning; vaccinations!

Going to South East Asia is really exciting, but there are a few slightly less than exciting things you need to beat in mind before you go – things like some of the illnesses you may be exposed to and how to protect yourself against them. Even though the chances of catching some kind of awful disease aren’t huge, they are out there and it’s far better to be protected!
Travel clinics are easy to find in the UK with a huge amount being connected to GPs surgeries if not they are also available at most travel agents and bigger branches of Boots and Superdrug. A consultation is generally free and they will advise on what you may need to be vaccinated against. When we had our initial consultation we were warned about Rabies and Malaria. We were also advised to get a variety of booster jabs and heppititus A and B.
The Rabies vaccination costs £55 per dose and requires three shots over about six weeks. You can’t get these shots on the NHS but it’s well worth getting the vaccine – it does not make you immune to rabies, but is a pre exposure protection – meaning that if you do get bitten you have some protection from the disease and will buy you time to get to a medical centre to be treated. Rabies is probably one of the scarier diseases to get and has a terrifyingly high fatality rate. The fact that one bite could potentially kill you should make you think that it’s worth getting as much protection as possible, and even though it feels strange in England to pay for vaccinations, £165 is a low price to pay for some piece of mind.
Malaria pills are available from most pharmacies – the costs vary. The two kinds that are appropriate for South East Asia, these are Malerone and Doxycycline. Asda and Superdrug online pharmacy usually have pretty good rates – shop around and find the best deal. With malaria pills it’s important to remember you don’t need to take them everywhere you go, only in malarious areas – and buy enough for before and after you visit as required.
Booster injections as well as heppititus shots are available free on the NHS from most GPs so book an appointment and get them done – I left my doctor feeling quite a lot like a pin cushion but did get topped up on Diptheria, Polio, tetanus, typhoid, and hepititus A & B.
Although all of this sounds like quite a lot of effort – it’s so worth it! Just think, for a little bit of money and time you are protected, why risk ruining the adventure of a lifetime!

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