A Thought on Vaccinations and Travel

In preparation for our (eventual) travel to Ethiopia, I had to get immunized today: meningitis, yellow fever, hepatitis (A&B), typhoid, and polio.  Yes, that was five vaccinations–two in the right arm, three in the left.  The doctor also wrote me a prescription for an antimalarial drug and an antibiotic for bacterial diarrhea.  If you get diarrhea while traveling, it’s the result of having eaten something you shouldn’t have.  The doc recommended I get the H1N1 flu vaccine and a pertussis (whooping cough) booster as well.

I was also given a TRAVAX Traveler Health Report that details most if not all of the potential health risks and immunizations a traveler to Ethiopia should consider.  The report contains a “travel advisory” as well, compiled from sources like the US Department of State, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  The report lists a number of threats and warnings for visitors, including:

  • “the presence of land mines, civil unrest, and the threat of terrorism”
  • “the highest rate of traffic fatalities per vehicle in the world”
  • “highway banditry and armed carjacking” outside major cities
  • “small bombings and explosions”
  • “pickpocketing, bag and jewelry snatching”
  • lots of other things

To summarize, I’ve received immunizations for diseases to which, under most circumstances, I’d never be exposed at home and been warned that Ethiopia may be a frighteningly dangerous place for visitors, especially those from the West.

Adventure anyone?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *