If you´re like me, the last thing on your list in planning a three-month trip through Central Europe would be inoculation, a.k.a. immunization. But after seeing several of these little reminders in travel guides, it finally got added to that list … then became an afterthought. Finally, I seized the moment and took a short trip to my local Health Department. And after an intense hour of very thorough and expert consultation, and light conversation on a cornucopia of infectious diseases both here and abroad, I became very glad this afterthought on my list was getting done.
In all, I got five shots, two in one arm and three in the other. For the squeamish, the shots were painless, like very light pricks to the arm. I was originally going to just have the “Tdap” done at my doctor’s office. This one shot includes immunization against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis. But then I learned the cost of this one shot would be would $84—and, of course, my health insurance doesn’t cover this. Fortunately, my local Health Department charges only $8 for this shot. In its fight against infectious diseases, the government pays the greater portion for these shots.
Below is a list of my inoculations:
• Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR)
• Hepatitis A & B
• Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis
• Pneumococcal Polysaccharide
• Inactivated Influenza
The total cost of all five shots was $94. To extend the immunization, I will have to return in 28 days to get a second shot of the MMR and “Twinrix” (Hepatitis A & B). There are two more inoculations I need to get that the Health Department did not have: Typhoid and Tick Born Encephalitis. The Health Department provided me with a long list of local clinics that provide these shots. So, overall, I still have two more trips to make before the “big trip”, but I am taking this much more seriously. Just Hepatitis A & B alone are highly contagious, so why risk it.