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That vaccine question!!: for SE ASIA 1 year...help.help please.

Posted by travel_time on 4/6/2011 at 17:51

I really need some unbiased vaccine advice please..
Im from the UK and am about to go travelling from this July for a year (or more) on my own to SE ASIA.
I dislike the idea of putting chemicals into my body that are not really needed.
Surely I can build up my immune system naturally with things like echinacea and spirulina.

My very loose plan is: Thailand 3 months, Laos 1 mth, Camboidia 1 mth, Vietnam 1 mth, and possibly some other surrounding countries, and then India 6 months.
but really I am totally flexible, I will just turn up in Thailand and see where my nose takes me, as Im sure I will meet other travellers and go-with-the-flow. I willl stay at Guest houses, hostels, low-mid budget.

Im 35, healthy, will want to see all the sites, temples / natural beauty... eat local good food / street food and maybe do a bit of partying here and there (but not too much) ;-)

I have been recommended the following:
Hepatitis A & Typhoid (free of charge)
Diphtheria/ Tetanus, polio (booster) (free of charge)

and then these recommended...
Hepatitis B...??. Japanese Encephalitis..??.. Rabies..??. and Cholera oral vaccination.??
I really dont want/need these?? do I? what are the chances.. really?
Also I can take some Malaria pills with me (doxycycline?)

There is a lot of FEAR factor that the government websites etc place in your mind...
a lot of it im sure is all about making as much money as possible for the pharmaceutical corps, as the Gov's have close ties with these corps (in bed with them).

I can afford to have ALL these vaccines no problem, but am looking for people that are wise on travel and can give good solid advice - that can think outside the mainstream box.

it would be different if I had already visited these countries before, but I have never really travelled outside Europe, especially not in a backpacking style.

I look forward to your views.
many thanks x.

#1 travel_time has been a member since 4/6/2011. Posts: 4

Posted by Nixxypie on 4/6/2011 at 18:07

At the end of the day it is your decision but you are in such a privileged position to have these vaccines available to you, when thousands of people die because they are unable to gain access to them or unable to afford them. That would answer the question in my head.

They are recommended for a reason. Hep B you can get for free as well so there's no reason why you should question that.

Rabies is expensive and only allows you an extra 24 hours to get to a hospital if you're bitten, where you still need a 3 or 5 course vaccine treatment, so really if you know you're always going to be within 24 hours of a hospital which stocks rabies vaccine then it's not necessary. Especially not if you're not going to be in direct contact with animals a lot, but again it's your choice.

Malaria pills are essential but only if you're in a high malaria risk zone, and as Doxy is an antibiotic its best not to take it unless you really need to.

Cholera is a little liquid that you drink, and is only essential if you will not have access to clean water in busy places. I looked into it before travelling to Africa but it wasn't in stock anywhere around here (Newcastle Upon Tyne) and to order it in took about 5 weeks and I didn't have time to wait this long. Always ensure you drink bottled water, don't use ice but remember in a lot of places plates and eating utensils will probably be washed in tap water. You can also buy water purifying tablets to take as an emergency just in case (I got mine from chemistdirect.co.uk and they didn't cost a lot at all).

Nurses who offer travel vaccines only consider your best interests, not the funding offered by the government or contracts with drug companies. Its your choice if you want to believe this but if you want to be safe and enjoy your trip then I would get them all, as it's better to be safe than sorry.

Have a look here for more information about recommended vaccines for each area

#2 Nixxypie has been a member since 27/4/2011. Posts: 55

Posted by travel_time on 7/6/2011 at 00:44

many thanks
I might give Japanese Encephalitis jab a miss.
And skip rabies jab too.

#3 travel_time has been a member since 4/6/2011. Posts: 4

Posted by christay2009 on 7/6/2011 at 16:33

The Hep A and B combination jab is free of charge in England but, as you point out above, the Hep B jab alone is not. Ask your GP / Nurse.

The government websites have to be comprehensive and list all possible diseases, however unlikely. Would you rather they miss off a couple and you go on vacation uninformed? If you poke around abit you can usually find the % of people/tourists who contract 'x' disease. The fitfortravel website is quite good.

#4 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: China. Posts: 415

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