One of the most important things to keep during a long journey is your health! That is why we have already started our vaccination process for our trip around the world. Before starting with this delicate issue, we want to remind you that we live in the north of France, so please remember all the information in this article and vaccines may be different in your country of residence. Let’s go!
Where to get informed and where to get vaccinated ?
The first place we asked was the Pasteur Institute in Lille, a private center specializing in vaccination, but as we weren’t really convinced with their fees and advise, wefinally opted for the Hospital of Tourcoing. In other European countries, the best option is to go to an International Vaccination Center and make an appointment. We found vaccines in state-owned hospitals to be much cheaper than in private ones (at least in France).
What vaccines are recommended for a round-the-world trip?
Everything depends on the itinerary and the countries that you’re planning to visit, but in general round-the-world trips are concentrated in countries located between the tropics, so vaccines are almost always the same. Here the list of vaccines that doctors recommended us for our itinerary and prices in pharmacies in Spain:
- Yellow Fever: trade name Stamaril® which is mandatory in some countries (Bolivia for example) and highly recommended in most! Spain pharmacy price: €30
- Typhoid: trade name Typhim® that can also be taken orally. Only if the doctor considers you’re travelling to risky areas. Price: €23
- Hepatitis A: tradename VAQTA®, although it depends on the age and other personal factors. It is highly recommended if you don’t have it already! Price: €47
- Hepatitis B: mainly because the infection is transmitted sexually or through a needlestick (if you have the misfortune of visiting a medical center without all the health guarantees). Check if you don’t have it already; most children get vaccinated!
- Preventive Rabies: trade name Rabipur®, although there is no preventive vaccine but only this, which gives you a margin of a couple of days to go to the hospital in case of infection. The advantage is that it gives you a margin since the animal bites you and the treatment, and subsequent treatment only lasts a couple of days. If you do not get the vaccine, the time limit to reach the hospital is 24h and treatment could last several weeks and spoil the whole trip! It is your choice. Price: €78 x 3 doses = 234 €
- Japanese Encephalitis: trade name Ixiaro® which is not essential but recommended in Southeast Asia, especially in monsoon season. Price: €86 x 2 doses = €172
In total, these five vaccines we would be around €500 in a pharmacy! So we started looking for information online and in different forums. Most travelers decide not to get the Japanese encephalitis vaccine nor the rabies, especially because they are very expensive and the risk of infection is very low. Please check with your doctor about the risks you’d be taking and the best options for you.
The vaccines we chose
According to the countries that we are going to visit and always following the doctor’s advice, we have decided to get the following vaccinations:
- Yellow Fever (37,50€)
- Hepatitis A and B (22€)
- Rage (32€ three doses, i.e. 96€)
- Polio (for Anaïs, free)
That is, a total of €155.50 per person. Not that bad!
We decided not to take more shots because in the places where we are going the risk was particularly low. Also please consider that while you’re taking your vaccines you should avoid alcohol and fatty food, as the shots will force your liver to work harder.
The problem of malaria
When planning trips through certain countries we frequently hear the scary word malaria, but what is it really?
Malaria is a potentially fatal disease caused by parasites transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. The bad news is that there is no vaccine against this disease! However, there are preventive treatments such as Malarone and Nivaquine.
The best is to talk to your doctor who will advise either one or the other depending on the duration of the trip, your personal history and the place where you go. In case of a high fever, take the pills and then reach the nearest hospital. For our part we have decided not to take preventive treatment because the areas that we will visit aren’t directly exposed to the disease. Two months before the start of our trip, we’re both making a cure of brewer’s yeast because it changes the pH of our skin and it no longer attracts as many mosquitoes!
And you, what vaccines did you do? Have you had good or bad experiences with them?