SOUTH AFRICA VOLUNTEER TRIPGetting the jabs
Do I need any vaccinations?
Now that I’ve decided where I’m heading, it’s time to get some information regarding vaccinations. The most logical point of contact is, no, not the internet, but the Intenational Centre of Vaccinations. Here in Spain it’s called, Centro de vacunación internacional. I gave them a quick call and got an appointment in 3 weeks, it’s a good thing I’d like to get things going months before I’m stepping on that plane. So my appointment was for end of September and I’m leaving 1st January, I’ve received good solid information from the doctor in the vaccination centre, as I’m off to Zululand, in the summer AND rain season, first and foremost Malaria is something to look in to.
She prescribed me a list of vaccinations, as she could see the look of surprise on my face.. note, I don’t play poker, as you can read me as a book… she elaborated that none of the vaccinations are obligatory, but merely preventative as I’ll be living in the bush for 4 weeks.
Before you take your trip, this is the list (a good thing I’m not squeamish)
- Tetanus-Diphtheria: a booster dosis if you have been vaccinated during the last 10 years.
- Hepatitis A: One dosis before the trip and a booster dosis between 6-18 months after the first one
- Hepatitis B: Two doses with a month separate before the trip and a 3rd dosis 6 months after the first one
- Typhoid fever: Oral vaccine, 3 capsules taken every other day. Good for 3 years.
- Oral Cholera and Diarrhea by ETEC: Oral vaccine, 2 doses separated by a week. Good for 2 years.
- Meningitis: One dosis
- Rabies: Three doses, 2nd 7 days after first one, 3rd one 28 days after second dosis.
Meningitis and Rabies, were given to me in the International Vaccination Centre and cost me 34 € for all 4 doses
Tetanus and Hepatitis B were given to me by the health centre, free of charge.
Typhoid fever and Cholera were prescribed by the health centre, so I got them at a subsidised price of 30€ for both.
Hepatitis A, I had to pay the full price, which was 47 €, but the health centre administered it free of charge.
Take with you, and start 1 day before arriving at your destination and continue 7 days after you leave the ‘danger’ zone:
Malaria tablets, prescribed by the health centre, each box of Malarone cost me 2,70 €
I am taking Malarone, as this is apparently the malaria tablet with the least side effects, but you can only take it for a maximum of 4 weeks at a time.
I am advising that you get your vaccinations months before traveling, as you never know if you are going to get an adverse reaction to any of the vaccinations. I was lucky that it all went smooth, however the Tetanus gave me a stiff and painful arm for 10 days.
Be aware that I am talking from my experience how things happen in Andalucía, Spain; in other countries and parts of Spain things may be different. But every country has got an International Vaccination Center, so best to start there.