Vaccinations

Old Feb 24th, 2010, 11:15 AM
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Vaccinations

Hi travelers, We're planning a trip to Peru April 11-May 5, including Lima (3 days), the Andes (Cusco-Macchu Picchu and many surrounding villages- 2 weeks), Iquitos and the Amazon (1 week), and a little trip down the coast to Canete and Chincha )(1 day). All are pre-planned tours with apparently famous and reputable ecotourism groups (Andean Treks, Green Treks). I came across recommendations to get vaccinations for Yellow Fever, Hepatitus A and B, Tiphoid, Tetnas and Malaria. Calling our local travel clinic, I see the price tag for most of this is about $515 (not including Malaria medicine)...I don't have health insurance to cover this, so..... Does anyone have thoughts on: 1) are all these really needed? 2) is there a cheaper way to get them (i.e. in Lima or Iquitos?) 3) are those recommended?

Running out of money already -
Abby
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Old Feb 24th, 2010, 03:07 PM
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If you skip everything else do not fail to get the yellow fever shot. Yellow fever is transmitted from mosquitoes and the nurse told me it's almost always deadly. Malaria pills are also highly recommended.

The Hep A is a series of 2 shots and it could be useful protection in any part of the world.

You only need the Hep B shot if you plan to have sex with the locals so I recommend abstinence from that. I'm not kidding, it actually says that on the CDC web site, see the link below.

The tetanus shot is something you should get every 10 years regardless of your travel plans. If you skip it for now, be sure to get it if you cut yourself. That applies whether you are home or overseas.

I recommend the typhoid pills over the shot, as I am told the immunity is longer lasting. Someone on this board told me typhoid is easily curable with antibiotics so a vaccine isn't imperative. I don't know that for a fact, it might be worth asking your doctor.

The question has come up on this board if the rabies shot is necessary and most people agree it's not unless you are bitten by an animal.

Here is a link to the CDC web site, scroll about halfway down for vaccine recommendations.

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/peru.aspx

You might want to check with your county health department to see if there is a place to get vaccinations at a lower cost.

BOTTOM LINE: GET THE YELLOW FEVER SHOT!!!!
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Old Feb 24th, 2010, 03:17 PM
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Just a bit more info:

The yellow fever shot and the Hep A series offer 10 years of immunity. Typhoid pills offer 5 years. While malaria is generally curable, it can take a very long time to recover so taking preventative meds is important.

I know these vaccinations seem expensive but it is money well spent.

You might have a good idea about getting some of your meds in Lima and I hope someone else can answer questions about that. But I would at least get the yellow fever shot here since that's the most important.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Feb 24th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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I agree with everything P_M says. Check with your doctor because you may already be up to date with your tetanus immunization. That's going to be the cheapest of the shots.

Typhoid is usually curable with antibiotics, but, my goodness, I wouldn't want to deal with the symptoms, especially if they cropped up a long way from home. They're horrible. I wouldn't chance it if I didn't have to. Oral vaccine gives five years of immunity; injection gives three.

Yellow fever immunity takes effect 10 days after the injection.

It sounds well and good about getting the shots in Lima, but if you're on a fixed tour itinerary, when would you have time to look for a place to get the shots?
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 06:09 AM
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Hi Abby,

Relax you are fine save your money.

www.mdtravelhealth.com Peru correct CDC Trav MD info

No vaccines requied for Peru entry

no Yellow Fever AT ALL where you be

only needed for the jungle

even there suggested not required

tourist risk of getting it with a short

jungle stay 1 in a million...

Hep A would be a good idea if you have not

had it and will be eating street food

otherwise you are fine...save your money.

Have fun,
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 06:13 AM
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If you are going to Iquitos and elect to have the YF jab

suggested not required

always get mine very cheaply on entry at the LIM airport

clinic remember takes 7-10 days to be effective.

Only in the jungle take malaria pills

Doxycyline my fav the cheapest.
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 06:21 AM
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last YF outbreak was 3 cases in 2008

not around the city of Iquitos at all.

No reports of tourist YF at all

just in locals with lots of deep jungle time.
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 07:21 AM
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Hep A is found in parts of the US (especially the West) and can be transmitted by food handlers. Getting the vaccine can help protect you within the US as well. All vaccines have risks, although slight, so check with your doctor. The tetanus is usually covered by insurance if you have it; the others typically are considered travel-related options.
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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Sorry, Abby, didn't read the part where you mention you don't have insurance. I believe some travelers do get immunizations in other countries where they are cheaper. Why don't you Google your first destinations and English speaking clinic websites; they may help you decide.
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 08:01 AM
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qwovadis, the OP is visiting the Amazon so won't she be in the jungle? If that's the case the YF shot and malaria prevention would be necessary. Maybe it's not required by law but I wouldn't chance it.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 12:50 PM
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Thanks so much all! Still waffling, but glad to have all the input!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 02:14 PM
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A suggestion regarding yellow fever shots : Explore getting them at your County Health Department. We went through the search process last year before our trip to Brazil, and found that the price through the County Health Dept. was much more reasonable, and the process was simple. Tetnanus and other shots also were available. I believe their charges were on a sliding scale, according to income.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 10:04 PM
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You need to start the hepatitis vaccines at least a month ahead, it's a series of 2 or 3. There's a combo for A/B. The main risk for B to most tourists would be in case of auto accident and need for transfusion, but I would try to get the A.

The yellow fever vaccine is quite expensive and you might do better to get in on arrival at Lima Airport as qwovadis says. If in fact you do decide to do that. If you don't be sure to dose liberaly with insect repellant and wear longsleeved long pant clothing. A good idea in general (and also at Machu Picchu which has some vicious invisible sandfly type bugs).

You're probaby more likely to get travelers diarrhea so might want to bring some Pepto Bismol as a preventative or go to a pharmacy on arrival in Lima for antibiotics. It always seems to strike at inconvenient times.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 12:22 PM
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I am a health professional & strongly encourage you to get both Hep A & B vaccinations. Hep B is the leading cause of liver cancer & can be as easily transmitted as using an infected person's razor. Most people do not know they have Hep B until it is too late & they've already developed liver cancer, which is deadly. It is rampant in Asia & much more highly contagious than HIV. I developed Hep A by swimming in the Russian River near San Francisco. You can be sick for a long time with Hep A.
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