Roaming with Lucy

Nurse, please just jab me!

Arranging travel vaccinations before a big trip can be exhausting; so based on my very recent experience of this, make sure you head to your local GP’s clinic with lots of time to spare before your departure date – otherwise your nurse will shout at you. (Yes, this did happen to me).

From handing in my vaccination form, it took 3 weeks to book the first appointment. This was then 4 weeks before my flight. It took this long because I stupidly waited for the surgery to call me back… this was my first mistake.

Make sure you follow up and book your appointment for your first vaccination, to be at least 6 weeks before you go.

After the appointment-booking ordeal, it was finally the morning of my vaccinations. However, when I got there; the nurse, who coincidently wasn’t meant to be working that day, was only covering the morning because another nurse was sick and who had received a call from work to come in that morning when she was already at the station with her granddaughter to go to London for a day out… and breathe, said that I had left it too late and that I would have to come back for my vaccinations. Followed up with the classic line; “because I don’t have the time to fit them all in today”.

It’s fair to say, I was openly peeved.

After voicing my time limitation concerns and sucking up a little, sympathizing about her ruined day out with her grand daughter to come in to work to see me, she gave me a joint Hepatitis A & B shot as well as the Typhoid vaccination. 2 dead arms in one day, result!

To avoid the above ordeal, research which vaccinations you’ll need from the following websites and then you can book your appointment with a clear outline of what you’ll be getting and what vaccinations you’ll need to organize, & probably pay for, independently. (The NHS actually uses the Fit For Travel website, so you’ll save yourself a consultation appointment looking in to this yourself).

http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/home.aspx

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

(The Foreign Office Website is also handy for health requirement information).

Other vaccinations you may need, which the NHS may not provide, will need to be done by a private clinic. If you live in London, or the surrounding areas, I would recommend using First Contact Travel Clinic. They’re very helpful and reasonably priced!

If you take note of the above and book your vaccination appointment at least 6 – 8 weeks before you travel, you should avoid a bashing from your nurse. Hopefully…

 Good luck and happy roaming!

Vaccinations available on the NHS and if required, per country:

Vaccination Thailand Cambodia Laos Vietnam
Hepatitis A & B (Joint Vaccination) x 3 shots YES YES YES YES
Typhoid x 1 shots YES YES YES YES
Malaria (Tablets  – prescribed but to be paid for) YES YES YES YES
Diphtheria (in date from a previous vaccination with Tetanus and Polio) YES YES YES YES

Fit For Travel also recommends the following immunisations for the above countries, however I have decided not to get them.

Rabies
Cholera (Actually only recommended for aid workers)
Japanese Encephalitis

I decided not to get the rabies vaccination because this would be a lot cheaper to receive the whole dose in the countries I am visiting, if I do indeed get bitten. (You have to have a top up dose of 2 more shots if you are bitten; or the whole 5 doses if you haven’t previously been vaccinated).

I also decided not to get vaccinated against Japanese Encephalitis, due to time constraints, the cost (£225 for 3 x shots) and the fact that we are traveling outside of the rainy season and not specifically to rural areas.

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