I got my shots

Like a good germ-fearing person, I betook myself on Monday to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Travellers' Health and Vaccination Clinic, where the nurse informed me that for Vietnam, the following shots were recommended:
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid
  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Rabies
At which point I wondered if there wasn't some kind of cap on the number of shots one could get at one go, because seriously? Owwwww.

As it turned out, before you get the Hepatitis A & B jabs, they test your blood to see if you're a carrier (or something like that lah, I'm honestly not too clear on the medical details). So no shots for that yesterday. I also declined the rabies and Japanese encephalitis shots, on the grounds that I plan to flee from any animals that might attack me and that Japanese encephalitis seems kind of rare, compared to dengue, malaria and the like.

(If I'm being egregiously ignorant, feel free to point it out in the comments. It just seemed like getting that many shots were overkill. Yes, this is how my brain works when it comes to medical decisions.)

So at the end of the session, I got tetatnus, typhoid and flu jabs, one in my right arm and two in my left, after which I went for a Pilates class that involved putting some amount of weight and strain on my shoulders, so for the rest of the evening, my upper arms were a little sore.

Fortunately, I had a Very Nice Dinner waiting for me.

Quite the spread

It's amazing what one lovely host can put together with five guests who chip in with wine and bounty from Cold Storage. I had cheese and dip and wine till I was ready to fall asleep in my chair, but not before we talked of Facebook and Indonesia and more Facebook (seriously, six adults, mostly in their thirties, sitting around with red wine, talking about Facebook).

There is a story yet to come about the anti-malarial pills, but that will wait till tomorrow.

Related post: Like a lost backpacker

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At 8/26/2008 7:03 pm , Blogger naixuhs said...

When I went to Tanzania and Zimbabwe, there were similar list of immunizations that I had to do. The typhoid immunization has been shown to be only to attenuate the disease and no immunize you. I would agree with you about the rabies vaccination. The testing of your blood prior to receiving the Heptatitis B and A vaccination is to identify if you have already acquired them (in which case it is pointless to undergo the immunizations). The usual anti-malarial is melfoquine which is to be taken before you go and up to two weeks upon your return. Be aware of the side effects: very vivid dreams/nightmares for some people and yes it tastes awful. We would take the pills on a weekly basis together in Africa and chug down some good beer to kill the taste. The joy of travel!

At 8/26/2008 9:29 pm , Blogger Tym said...

Alas, the hospital advised me that there are areas of Vietnam that are resistant to melfoquine, so they are putting me on doxycycline --- a daily pill, which for a 6-week trip adds up to almost 80 tabs (including the 4 weeks I have to take it when I'm back in Singapore). That's the price I pay for wanting to tramp through rural Vietnam.

The doctor also recommended avoiding alcohol while I'm on the doxycycline :P

At 8/26/2008 10:54 pm , Blogger Unknown said...

looks like a pretty standard set of shots for (rural) vietnam - that's what my american friend was advised to get from her embassy/doctors as well. -wrinkles nose- bad luck with the anti-malaria pills :( better safe than sorry though, no?

also, had dinner with janice (lee) last night, and mentioned that you're off to vietnam. she has some contacts in HCMC (Singaporeans and locals who might be helpful for you :)


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