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How many get Hepatitis B shot?

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Jan 24th, 2007, 07:08 AM
  #1
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How many get Hepatitis B shot?

I am traveling to Morocco in April 2007. My doctor has recommended shots/meds for:

Tetanus
Typhoid
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B

I have no problem with the first three but based on all my readings and research the Hep B seems like overkill.

I am wondering how many actually get immunized for Hep B?

thanks
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Jan 24th, 2007, 07:32 AM
  #2
sandi
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Hep B is recommended for those volunteering for Peace Corp work, or for an NGO; any long time stay in a country with contact with locals (refugee camps), or those who intend to participate in unsafe sex. If you don't fall into any of the above categories, as a general rule, Hep B, isn't required.

However, there is a recently (few years now) new inoculation which combines Hep A/B, believe it's called Twinex; some travelers do get this.

Once you have Tetanus and Hep, you should be set for the next 10-years.

I'm not a doctor, and don't pretend to be. It's important you research all information out there, print out what is needed and discuss with your physician, based on your personal health history.
 
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Jan 24th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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I travel frequently and have received all of those shots. What do you mean by overkill (is it the price?).
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Jan 24th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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thit_cho~ when I say overkill it is not a matter of cost....it's because I am not a health care worker, not going into the Peace Corp and do not match any of the criteria for those who generally would need to get it.

I will be in Morocco for only two weeks, sight seeing and staying in city hotels. I have no objections other than I dont think I will need it.

On the other hand, maybe my doctor was thinking of the combo inoculation that Sandi was mentioning.

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Jan 24th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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I'd had the tetanus booster so got the typhoid and the Twinrex series for hep A&B, not because of the dangers from unsafe sex but on the off chance that I'd come in contact with blood from an infected person -- accident, medical treatment, etc.

Getting just the A or the combination was my choice so I figured I'd go for more protection since I'll be doing a lot more traveling and the shots are good for several years.
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Jan 24th, 2007, 08:07 AM
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All I can say is if my doctor recommended an innoculation, I would discuss it with him, or if I didn't like his advice, I would contact another healthcare professional. You will only regret not having gotten the shot if you contract Hep B (and as unlikely as it may be, I just don't see any downside to getting an additional shot). Maybe I am overly cautious, but you only have one liver, and while I sometimes drown mine in booze, I do try my best to protect it from hepatitis (no matter what the letter).
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Jan 24th, 2007, 08:22 AM
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hep b is transmitted through blood. if you're going to be exchaning bodily fluids with someone overseas it is a good idea.

i do agree that dr.s tend to over recommend, especially those dr.s who are reading these things off a chart and who are not part of a overseas or tropical medicine clinic.

i have worked and traveled in many developing countries for long periods mingling with the local population and i have not had the innoculation, but could definitely see many instances during which a stranger's blood could get on you without person to person contact.

i think your decision not to get it is a "calculated risk" but if you are in the dr.s' office anyway, or if they are offering the shot sandi mentioned, why not just get it?

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Jan 24th, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Ok, well obviously I have to find out if my doctor is planning on giving me the Twinex. In that case it'a no-brainer.

otherwise I will still have to think this through a while...think about the calculated risk as kerikeri says.

hmmmm, what to do... what to do...?
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Jan 24th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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Here's a hint after you get the B series. Have your titer levels checked. I got the B series for work several years ago. When I had my titer levels checked, I was found to not be protected. A small percentage of people do not receive immunity from the vaccines due to genetic makeup.
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Jan 24th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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In my very humble opinion, from my experience as a firefighter, and I only mention this because it was helpful info to the students in our outreach and CPR classses that we taught thru the FD, Hep B is bloodborn pathogen, and can survive, on a dried surface, for up to a week. Unlike another bloodborn disease, HIV, which is dead almost the moment it is exposed to the outside air/temps.

Again, I am not a doctor, nor pretend to be. This infomation can be found online on several sites, I copied this line from http://www.hivandhepatitis.com

"HBV (hepatitis B) can survive outside the body at least 7 days and still be capable of transmitting infection."

The dried HBV infected substance would have to come in contact with your blood - like thru an open wound, for instance, on your hand. And even then, you would lessen your chance of infection with good handwashing and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (purell, etc)

Certainly, this still leaves the decision up to the individual whether or not to get the vaccine.

This was meant to be helpful, and not a lecture - best on your travels to Morocco.
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Jan 24th, 2007, 09:52 AM
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My family and I have all been innoculated for those you listed - tetanus, typhoid, hep a and b - and yes, it did come in a mixed version called Twinex. (My husband has even been dosed for Malaria!) None of us had any trouble w/ these injections - including our daughter who was innoculated. We have traveled through many countries and appreciate knowing we're well protected. And, no, we don't participate in any risky behaviors - unless you inlcude eating street vendor's food stuffs! Have fun!
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Jan 24th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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I still haven't read, in any of these posts, a reason why one wouldn't get the innoculation, especially if recommended by a physician. With respect to my health, I'd rather be overcautious than cavalier. But maybe there is an adverse reaction, but if so, that hasn't been stated.
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Jan 24th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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I leave for Maroc today. I have a tetnus but other than that my doc just gave me Cipro in case I come down with anything.
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Jan 24th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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My basic recommendation would of course be to follow your Doctor's recommendations. He's trained at balancing the pros and cons of such things.

The main downside I see to getting the Hepatitis B shot is that it could give you a false sense of security. Even if you get the shot, you don't want to be swapping any body fluids.
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Jan 24th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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My doctor advised me to get Hep A and B shots without me going anywhere. Maybe you too have a health condition to put you in a risk group?
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Jan 24th, 2007, 12:23 PM
  #16
sandi
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Thanks goodness, these days, there is enough information available for non-professionals to be able to discuss this subject with some sense of intelligence with our personal physician or a tropical deseases specialist.

There is no one answer. As we've read often, there are some physicians that don't seem to know the difference between Malarone (and Malox), or Lariam (and Lorazepam). Okay, so we seek information and go with a slew of printouts with the hope our physician has the time to discuss with us.

It's not a matter of being cavalier about our health. If Hep A&B, Tetanus, Thyphoid, Yellow Fever was all that important to have for our basic survival, we'd all be inoculated and our health plans would pay willingly... they don't (most often and we've read that regularly also).

For someone who is traveling for 2/weeks to Morocco, as a tourist NJriverchick asks a good question. Does she need all the inoculations? Tetanus and Hep A make sense even at home, Thyphoid and Hep B, really don't.

NJriverchick, has our input, resources from where she can obtain more, it's now up to her and her physician.

Michael - you probably travel more than any of us, it only makes sense you've been and should be pricked with everything available.

 
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Jan 24th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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My HMO paid. Oh, gosh, I'm feeling very sick already what's wrong with me that my insurance paid
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Jan 24th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Sandi, are you going to the New York Times Travel Show at Javits at the end of February?
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Jan 24th, 2007, 02:28 PM
  #19
sandi
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Michael -

Thanks for asking, but I don't walk convention floors any more. Reminds me of my life before doing what I do now. Reminds me of those darn marble floors at Macy's Herald Square or Bloomies - great buildings, but hell on the legs/feet... same at a convention center regardless how much carpet they put down. Call me a woooze! Have fun! Hey, we still have to "do lunch/brunch."
 
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Jan 24th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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Sandi, probably best to reach me at [email protected] and we can schedule brunch (hopefully you'd be willing so suffer through some photos -- I'm running out of willing participants beyond the ages of 5 and 7).
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