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Vaccinations

First, check out the Center for Disease Control, at http://www.cdc.gov - that site has reliable medical information, unlike this one.

Cheapo jabs (covered by our health insurance)

Hepatitis A

Plan ahead Ė this oneís important and the two shots must be spaced six months apart. On the other hand, if you donít have time and contract Hep A anyway, then youíll develop your own immunity and probably lower your cholesterol count in the process. We didnít realize we could get this through our health plan and stupidly paid top dollar for the first shot.

Hepatitis B

Three shots. The second should be a month after the first, and then the third can be anywhere from two to five months after that Ė we think. If youíre not planning on sexual contact or blood transfusions then youíre not supposed to worry about this one. But itís a potentially fatal disease, so why not?

Tetanus

One booster every ten years.

Polio

One booster shot as an adult will last a lifetime.

MMR

Canít remember which childhood diseases you had? Then get one of these to be on the safe side.

Top shelf shots

Typhoid

One shot, duration two years. $70.

Meningitis

One shot, duration three years. $85.

Japanese Encephalitis

Three shots over twenty eight days at $100 a pop. Do you really need this one? Apparently only seven tourists have died from this, so you probably donít, but who wants to be an interesting statistic? This one also has potentially nasty side effects, just in case it wasnít aggravating enough in the first place.

Rabies

Another iffy one Ė they say you donít need this unless youíre going to be in remote areas for more than a month at a time. Given our severe birdwatching habit, we thought it might be a good idea for us. This one wins the price war, requiring three shots over twenty eight days, at $150 each. To rub salt into the wound, if you do happen to get bitten by something rabid then you need another two shots right after. Makes you wonder what the point really is (apart from making the drug companies rich) but at least itís no longer necessary to have a giant needle stuck into your stomach.

 
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