DO I REALLY NEED ALL THE SHOTS??

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Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:34 PM
  #1
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DO I REALLY NEED ALL THE SHOTS??

I'm planning a trip to Tanzania for the middle of March to see my daughter, so I'll be going on my own and meeting her in Dar Es Salaam. We'll be spending some time there and in Zanzibar and possibly traveling to the Serengeti and then going on to the rather remote village that she lives in somewhere outside of Mafinga or Iringa. She's in the Peace Corps. For those of you who have gone to Tanzania lately, do I need all the shots that are recommended? I talked with a travel medicine specialist today and there are about 6 to 8 shots and then the malaria medicine. This is out of pocket since insurance won't cover it. The Tanzanian Embassy recommends the Malaria medication and a shot for Chlorera and makes no mention about anything else. What have the rest of you done about the vaccinations?? Please advise because I have to start the vaccintations next week if I really need to get them all in. Thanks for your advise and help. One last thing . . . has anyone traveled between Dar and Kilmanjaro by bus and how was the trip?? Thanks
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Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:51 PM
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Hello,

As a physician, I would not feel comfortable making any recommendations without knowing your exact itinerary and medical history and seeing you in person. You can do some reading on the CDC website, www.cdc.gov -- however, the best source is a travel medicine specialist. If you are not comfortable with your specialist's recommendations, by all means get a second opinion.

Based on what you have written, I suspect that the number of vaccinations has a lot to do with going off the beaten tourist track to your daughter's remote rural posting. People who go off the beaten track are more likely to encounter dangerous bugs than those who stick to the tourist trail.

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 3rd, 2006, 04:59 PM
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Julian..thanks for thed reply. I have an appointment with a travel medicine specialist soon to start the vaccinations. It just seems like so much and I was wonderinf if everyone who goes over to Tanzania has to go thru the same. Mu daughter did of course because she's living in one of tbese remote places and I will be going there with her. I'm planning on being in Tanzania for 10 days to 2 weeks and mostly in and around the capital and Zanziba. I may decide to go up north to stay in one of the may lodges on the Serengeti plains, but not sure. i don't want to come back with something awful, but the cost is over $700. I did check out the CDC site and all the shots the specialist wants me to have are recommended. I guess I should just have them and be done with it. Anyway, thanks for the advise. Sue
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Jan 4th, 2006, 02:47 AM
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Hello,

I'm glad my reply was helpful. If it makes you feel any better, it cost over $1000 for my sister's shots when she spent six months in India and Southeast Asia. At least some of the shots, like Hep A, will cover you for life.

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 4th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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Hi Savannah300,

I'm definitely not a doctor and therefore can't give you any medical advice, but I can tell you what my husband and I did for our trip to Tanzania last year. We went to a travel medicine specialist and he recommended and we received yellow fever, typhoid, hep A & B and then took Malarone for malaria prevention.

The only one that was sort of "our choice" (up in the air as to whether we for sure would need it...) was thyphoid. And at first, my husband was hesitating because of the extra cost... and then we looked at each other and thought, "do we want to spend our whole (already-expensive) trip WORRIED about whether we're going to get sick because we didn't get a shot?". Needless to say, we got the shot.

Good luck in your decision, and happy travels!
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Jan 4th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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Julian and AlwaysAfrica,

Thanks for your replies. I think I went into shock when I realized the cost of the shots. I wasn't planning on an extra 800 or so $$$'s. I am going to a travel medicine specialist and I start the 23rd of the month. They want me to have the Yellow Fever shot also. Well, better safe than sorry. My daughter owes me big time!!! Thanks again.

Sue
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Jan 4th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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Is a travel medicine doc the same as an infectious diseases doc?

Also, how far in advance do you get the shots? We are going in June.

Thanks,
carol
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Jan 4th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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Try your county health dept. for your vaccinations. I got a polio booster, tetanus, hep A, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever in September for our trip in November and the cost was $217.00. I only thought the $10.00 a piece for Larium was out of line.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 05:56 PM
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Just to chime in, it's not only a concern of coming back with something, but getting sick while you're there and being utterly miserable and without the comforts of a familiar medical clinic. That would be a waste of your entire trip!

Good luck and have a great time. I envy you and your daughter. Someday my husband and I want to join the Peace Corps.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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I know that we can't tell you what is best for you, but I will tell you - I am departing for Tanzania in 2 weeks, and when I went to my travel clinic, I held out both arms and tush and said to use me like a pincushion! I would rather get more shots than risk falling ill or coming back ill.

I ended up only needing 5, and I received 3 or 4 different medications.

Then again, my health insurance covered for most of it.. if it was out of pocket, I may have responded differently..

Best of luck
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Jan 4th, 2006, 08:23 PM
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csuss,
We got the shots about 6-8 weeks ahead of time.

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Jan 6th, 2006, 06:09 AM
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Hi Savannah,
Those shots do add up. I'm not sure where your from but there seems to be a bit of a geographical difference in prices being paid for shots.

We used the Travel Clinic at Mariam Hosp. (private co.) Prov. RI and took what our travel doc. rec. as I feel you should, after discussing the pros and cons of each rec.

My DH got: Hep A (1st shot) vac.
Tetnus booster, Polio booster, Thyphoid (got pills - live to take prior to leaving)and yellow fever (vervet monkeys).

I rec. Hep A, polio booster,typhoid shot (not live - doesn't last as long as pills), I will be rec. yellow fever next week.
We also rec. scripts for Malerone.

The total for all this was 800. USD. which included our consultation and upcoming yellow fever shot as well.

It's unfortunate that our insurance co. would rather pay for this once we become diseased and contageous, rather than pay up front as prevention.

Are you in an area where you can shop around?

Good luck;
Sherry
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Jan 6th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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p.s. that's 800. for the 2 of us not pp.
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Jan 6th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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The Yellow fever is a must since they sometimes check at the border that u have it...
Remember, once u consult a travel specialist doc he will certainly b a maximalist not a minimalist
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Jan 6th, 2006, 07:52 AM
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To Everyone: Thanks for all the replies and advise. I'm going to get the shots of course and hope that maybe my insurance will pick up some of it. I just wasn't planning on $700.00 or so out of my own pocket, but what can you do? I start the shots in two weeks and was actually surprised that they give them all at once including the Yellow Fever shot. Did any of you have a reaction to the shots? I'm really hoping that I won't get sick from any of them because I'm leaving for Disney World on the 24th. Anyway, I'm looking forward to Africa and seeing my daughter and I hope all of you, if going any time soon, have a great time.

Sue
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Jan 6th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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my insurance co. paid all but $6.95 for my 4 shots (tetanus, polio booster, hepA and typhoid) strange though, that I don't have Kaiser but that is the only travel doctor in the state and they charged me $72.00 for my typhoid shot and my t.c. has Kaiser coverage and they charged him $132.00 for the same shot. I was re-imbursed, he wasn't. His malarone pills were not covered, I had to pay 10% so I think my insurance would rather pay to have me not get sick than the consequences of paying for me being sick.
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