So I'm heading to Hong Kong on 5th August for a few days then arriving in Bangkok to start a 2 month trek of surrounding countries, Im getting my Hep A, TDP and Typhoid soon but there's also JE and Malaria to consider treatment for.
I've looking into getting vaccines in red cross clinic in Bangkok and may get my typhoid and JE there but I was hoping for a bit of advice from others who have done this first hand etc. Now I've obviously spoken to my GP and looked into things more but the costs for vaccines are very high and lets face it, medicine industry is a business.
So hopefully you guys can let me know your thoughts on the subject.
You need to get (and will be able to receive for free in the UK, on the NHS) Hep A, Hep B, Typhoid and MMR & TDP boosters. These are essential.
You only need to get Japanese Encephalitis if you are going into real rural areas that tourists usually don't go to - make sure to look up the side effects to the vaccination as they can be quite bad. Not many people bother with this one. You can also get the rabies 'vaccination' but this is only an inhibitor and again worth it only if you're in rural areas far away from hospitals.
As for malaria tablets, I bought them in Bangkok when I went as they were 6 times cheaper there than back home. Just make sure to go to an official pharmacy as they will sell effective tablets.
I agree with MarcoPolo89 that you don't need to be vaccinated against Japanese Encephalitis.
Check this Web site on what shots and medication you are likely to need: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
I usually take atovaquone/proguanil, the generic form of Malarone, as my antimalarial. I've taken it for as long as 90 days without any side effects.
Malaria isn't the only problem. Cases of Dengue Fever and Chikungunya are rising. There is no vaccination for those. The best protection is to use insect repellent and clothing (long-sleeve shirt and pants) to cover yourself, particularly at dawn and dusk, when mosquitos are most active. But even if you're careful, you will be bitten. An antihistamine or steroidal ointment can help reduce the irritation.
Thank you Marco and Berner, thats given me a lot to consider, I have a mosquito net for place that doesn't have one OR does but is in bad shape so I will be vigilant with the repellent too.
I was going to leave malaria tablets as there can be a lot of discomfort from them but I may as well try the malarone ones when i get there and purchase them there as they will be much cheaper.
In Thailand you might be able to use Doxycycline for malaria prevention. Very cheap in Thailand. But first see your doctor to see if this is okay with you. Doxy is available from Thai pharmacies from around 3 baht per capsule to maybe 8 baht per capsule depending on what country the meds are made in.
I get the JEV and even Yellow Fever shots. But I have managed care where I don't have to pay for this when back home. I have been on flights that had to be diverted to other countries for mechanical problems. One of those places in the future could be Africa or South America where a Yellow Fever shot might be required.
If your meds are free with your medical plan get all of your shots. You don't know where you will end up some day when flying on international flights.
[ Edit: Edited on 01-Jul-2015, at 12:43 by karazyal ]
No need to carry mosquito netting; many places will have them.
Remember, the antimalarials aren't a guarantee that you won't contract the disease. I traveled with an Australian in Africa who was taking doxycycline and he still got it. Some mosquitos have developed a resistance to certain antimalarials. So the best way to protect yourself is to cover up at dawn and dusk, when mosquitos are most active. They also are more prevalent during wet seasons than dry.
I travel a lot in developing countries. I used atovaquone/proguanil in May when I visited Indonesia and Timor-Leste. I will use it again next month when I'm in Papua New Guinea for three weeks. The medication is a generic in the U.S. I pay $30 for 90 pills bought through my former employer's prescription drug plan.
The typhoid vaccine comes in two forms. There are shots (killed) and pills (weakened live). I used the latter when I got my booster last year.
In my opinion, it's better if you carried medication from home. That way, you can be sure to get what you need. In a pinch, I might buy something overseas. But I often find the formulations are somewhat different, or the medication is not available. Plus, you can't be sure what you're getting.
As always, consult with your doctor. I do.