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SE Asia Vaccinations

  • mattocmd

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2007
    Location United States
    Posts: 365

    Hello everyone,

    Great website! I just bought the Vietnam Central Highlands guide and I would recommend it to anyone. It seems like a great destination for those looking to get off the same traveled path.

    Anyway I have a question about vaccinations. My friend and I are flying to Bangkok on 10/8/07. We are going to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai and Phuket. She is leaving from there and I am staying in SE Asia for about 3 more months. I will travel to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and maybe Myanmar.

    Based on my research about vaccinations I should have the following: (from www.mdtravelhealth.com)

    -MMR (Anyone reading this probably has these)
    -Tetanus (I already have this)
    -Hep A
    -Hep B (I already have this)
    -Japanese Encephalitis
    -Rabies (I will skip this one)

    So here is my issue, the local travel clinics here in the U.S. want to charge a fortune to give me these vaccinations. I found a travel clinic in Thailand (www.thaitravelclinic.com). They offer the same vaccinations at a fraction of the cost (literally would save me 100s of dollars).

    So I have determined that I need Typhoid, Hep A, and Japanese Encephalitis. Does anyone know how long it takes for these drugs to develop immunity? Also, does anyone know if receiving these three shots in one day would result in negative side effects (we were planning on going to the travel clinic during our first day in Bangkok)?


    #1 Posted: 4/9/2007 - 22:57

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  • MJS

    Joined Travelfish
    27th October, 2006
    Posts: 19
    Total reviews: 2

    I don't think the side effects will be anything to worry about. I got vaccinations for DTP, Hep A and Typhoid during one visit. You may feel a bit nauseous or experience muscle soreness. I think you also need antiMalaria medication if you're going to Cambodia.

    #2 Posted: 5/9/2007 - 04:03

  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
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    Glad to hear you liked the Central Highlands guide ;-)

    Like MJS I wouldn't expect much in the way of side effects -- can you ask the clinic you found in Thailand for an opinion? They should be able to advise.

    #3 Posted: 5/9/2007 - 13:53

  • raffaela

    Joined Travelfish
    30th July, 2007
    Posts: 16

    I had the same thoughts - i am to leave for Thailand in a couple of weeks- and actually found out that vaccinations can be much more dangerous and also uneffective than what they let us know...
    here's a link, is in italian but you can find other links and bibliography, it's very accurate and scientific

    if you opt for homeopathy, this is an excerpt from another good website
    "Chelidonium is reputed to prevent hepatitis; and China, Natrum Muriaticum and Malaria Officinalis are reputed to prevent malaria; Cuprum is reputed to prevent cholera; Crotalus Horridus is reputed to prevent yellow fever; Pulsatilla is reputed to prevent measles; Belladonna is reputed to prevent meningitis; Drosera is reputed to prevent whooping cough; Eupatorium Perfoliatum is reputed to prevent dengue fever; and Baptisa is reputed to prevent typhoid. The India government tested the use of Belladonna to prevent Japanese Encephalitis and noted that the mortality was greatly reduced"

    i opted for these remedies and started 21 days before leaving;
    this is just my solution, but it feels safer than injecting in my body illnesses...

    love to all

    #4 Posted: 13/11/2007 - 07:12

  • aludel

    Joined Travelfish
    15th November, 2007
    Posts: 2

    I had Hep A, Hep B and Typhoid vaccinations all at once (plus one other!) and had no side effects apart from a sore arm.

    As far as timeframe goes, I had mine 6 weeks before I left for Thailand so that I'd developed full immunity by the time I got there.

    #5 Posted: 15/11/2007 - 12:44

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1478
    Total reviews: 15
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    You might want to take this into consideration with regards to JE ...

    Schedule and dosage

    A series of three 1.0 mL doses is given on days 0, 7 and 30. When time does not permit, these may be administered on days 0, 7 and 14, but the antibody response to this accelerated schedule is lower and may not be as durable. Two doses of vaccine 7 to 14 days apart can provide reasonable protection (80% efficacy) for short periods of time (< 1 year).

    #6 Posted: 15/11/2007 - 18:43

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2581
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    Anyone with questions on vaccinations might want to read the travel health and safety tips article in the feature sections. Here is part of what it says:

    "Depending on where you'll be visiting within the Travelfish Universe, you'll want to look into pre-trip vaccinations. For travel in southeast Asia, most experts recommend at least of Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio. You may also wish to consider shots for Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis B, Rabies and even Yellow Fever. Be sure to consult with a travel doctor or travel clinic (as well as your own doctor for whatever specific needs you may have) to decide which vaccinations are the right fit for you and your itinerary."

    "You'll find useful info about vaccinations on the Travel Doctor website at http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov or the World Health Organisation (WHO) http://www.who.int/ith/."

    #7 Posted: 15/11/2007 - 23:59

  • urbal

    Joined Travelfish
    15th November, 2007
    Posts: 12

    Does anyone know what the chances are, percentage-wise, of getting Hep-A or Typhoid? From what I understand, Hep-A is very mild and most people never know they have it. Also, your body rids itself of Hep-A in 4-6 weeks. For Typhoid, anti-biotic will get rid of it and the chances of death are very low.

    I do not necessarily trust the CDC nor am I sure I agree 100% with the idea of vaccines..... especially for things that are not deadly. Not to mention the fact that mercury, aluminum, and a host of other things are put into those vaccines. Autism has been directly linked to the use of the MMR vaccine in the u.s.a.

    Has anyone here actually gone to SE Asia w/o vaccines?

    I am basing my thinking completely on my experiences in the u.s.a., is it an entirely different story when talking about that part of the world? Is it completely foolish to not get vaccinated when traveling to SE Asia?

    #8 Posted: 16/11/2007 - 00:37

  • raffaela

    Joined Travelfish
    30th July, 2007
    Posts: 16

    Urbai, i think it depends of where you're headed...
    i have many friends who went to Thailand without getting vaccinated and had no problems at all. But i'm sure others can tell you different experiences.
    I read the same things about autism and other long period effects of vaccinations this is why i opted for homephaty. I have had direct experience of how strong homephaty can be for very seriuos ilnesses, so i trust it. Plus i'm taking all the possible things with me to avoid being bitten from mosquitos. I hope this will be enough. I have the feeling thet one day we will know the whole truth about medicines that now we take for granted like vaccines and that maybe it won't be pleasent.

    #9 Posted: 16/11/2007 - 01:51

  • urbal

    Joined Travelfish
    15th November, 2007
    Posts: 12

    raffaela - I'll be mostly in non-tourist areas.... Southern Thailand (Trang), Northern such as Pai, along with Laos and Cambodia.

    #10 Posted: 16/11/2007 - 02:33

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  • goo_stewart

    Joined Travelfish
    10th October, 2007
    Posts: 69

    Please, please go and see a doctor who is qualified in this stuff. Consulting websites gives you a guide but does not replace that face to face contact with a doctor in the relevant specialty. We can all give our anecdotal advice, but the doctors (in Thailand or your home country) are the best people to ask.

    #11 Posted: 16/11/2007 - 10:23

  • mattocmd

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2007
    Location United States
    Posts: 365

    I was able to get more info off of the web than my doctor was able to give me...

    This is by far the best website...use it in conjunction with whatever your doctor says:

    (Or make prints and take it to the doctor)

    In the end, I went with Hep A and Typhoid (so that I could eat the local cuisine). Jap Enc. is so rare I didnt bother. I had malaria pills (malarone) but never used them. I had the travelers dirarreah pills and never used them (but get a supply just in case).

    #12 Posted: 16/11/2007 - 10:30

  • raffaela

    Joined Travelfish
    30th July, 2007
    Posts: 16

    Ok, i try to give my idea here without wanting to start a discussion "homeopathy" vs "official medicine"; they are both effective and useful and this is not the right place to discuss about which one is best, so i won't.
    This is just the result of my personal research and thoughts, also i have never been in Asia before, so i'm exactly in your conditions of doubts, Urbai.

    re: consulting doctors
    doctors are also homeopathic doctors, there's an homeopathic profylaxis for epidemic deseases and miasms which of course doesn't include Malarone and vaccines injections, so if you don't agree with traditional vaccines consider asking an homeopathic doctor instead of an allopatic one. If you are interested in having a copy of mine just ask. It's been done with both the help of my homepathic doctor and an homepathic pharmacist.

    re: reliability of web sites
    on internet you can find both traditional and alternative profylaxis.
    for the traditional one, i do agree, the best one is:

    for the homeopathic one:

    i personally think they are both serious and reliable, it just depends on which approach you intend to choose (also, even if you opt for the alternative profylaxis, since you'll go to remote places you can take some "emergency" official medicine with you, as mattocmd says ""just in case"- personally, the only one i'm taking is bymixin, for very strong diarrhea)

    re: non touristic areas
    even if vaccinations in Thailand are not compulsory but just recommended, i read they are sometimes "more" recommended when travelling in rural areas or for extended periods of more than 2 weeks. I personally won't go in proper rural areas but surely out of the main touristic routes, but i decided to put my mind at rest trying to be extracareful regarding "prevention":
    - i bought an antiseptic soap to wash my hands
    - i 'm taking permetrine + antimosquito spray+ electric antimosquitos device (you can find them in the ecological version too, eg citronella oil)
    - i will try to be careful with water and food, without going paranoid.

    generally, i think our organism is stronger and reacts better even to virus attacks when is not too scared : ) so, beside getting informations and consulting doctors, i'm trying to remind myself to stay positive!

    #13 Posted: 16/11/2007 - 18:24

  • realalaskan

    Joined Travelfish
    12th November, 2007
    Posts: 7

    Most doctors in the US I have ever consulted about travelers health would check with the Centers for Disease Control website, www.CDC.gov. They have a section on travelers health on a country by country basis. Another excellent site is www.traveldoctor.co.uk.

    As far as vaccines go, it is obviously a personal choice and should be an informed choice. JE is found in rural areas and is generally seasonal around the rainy season. Didn't do the JE when I went to SE Asia as I was there during the dry season. Definitly get tetanus vaccine, lockjaw would be a horrible way to die. Hep A and B are essential in my opinion. Did rabies vaccine myself for a trip to Tanzania, but we were camping with Maasai and traveling extensively in rural areas. Maasai have lots of nasty dogs. Typhoid vaccine is available orally. Malaria has no vaccine. Some areas of Thailand bordering Cambodia and Mynnmar and Laos , (rural, backwoods) have malaria present. Don't be complacent about malaria, it can kill you in a few days if it goes to the brain. Even with anti-malarials my daughter, age 20, contracted malaria after three months in E. Africa. It wasn't pretty.

    It is worth remembering while traveling that the greatest advance in reducing deaths in any country has been good sanitation, i.e., clean water and good waste disposal methods. While many countries we choose to travel in have poor sanitation you can take it upon yourself to maintain good hygiene. That helps but is not 100%. Have fun and don't be paranoid, but don't be too casual, either.

    #14 Posted: 18/11/2007 - 08:33

  • NogolSalehi

    Joined Travelfish
    19th July, 2011
    Posts: 2

    @ Urbal-To ease your worry about the MMR and autism connection, check out the link below. The study was proven to be a fraud. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield

    #15 Posted: 19/7/2011 - 06:46

  • louisehare89

    Joined Travelfish
    28th June, 2011
    Posts: 4


    I'm travelling to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam over 3 months later this year. Does anyone know how necessary the Rabies vaccine is? my friend seems to think it is not totally compulsory and that if I do come into contact with any animals, I can get treatment there? However, I am planning on spending time at an elephant sanctuary.

    Thank you.


    #16 Posted: 15/8/2011 - 23:07

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