In preparing to go to India to show off SWARM, I had to get stuck with a bunch of needles. Joy.
I got my immunizations at the San Francisco Department of Public Health Adult Immunization & Travel Clinic
I made an appointment a few days in advance. It took about 1.5 hours with the interview, shots and discussion.
- Typhoid – 4 pills taken every other day for 8 days. Take at least 1 week before travel. Don’t take with antibiotics (my antimalarial is an antibiotic!). Effective for 5 years.
- Doxycycline – Antimalarial. 1 pill a day starting 2 days before travel, ending 28 days after. Most other antimalarials have a very high incidence of side effects like hallucinations and psychosis! Everyone (5 out of 5) (update 12-5-11: 6 out of 6, Michael Sturtz too) I’ve ever spoken to about antimalarials has said their mental state was strongly negatively influenced by other antimalarials like mefloquine!
- Polio – injection. You should get 1 booster in a lifetime. This was it.
- TDAP – Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis. injection. Effective for 10 years
- Hepatitis A – injection. Effective for 10 years. I need to go back in 6 months for a booster
- Azithromycin 500 mg – 3 oral antibacterial goofballs to take with me in case of illness while travelling (update: I needed it after a meal, good thing I had it!)
- Hep B immunization (Lee already got in 2005. Effective for 10 years.)
- MMR - Measles Mumps Rubella – 2 shots needed in a lifetime. By 1990 almost all colleges required boosters. Effective for life.
- Ultrathon 34% DEET insect repellent (Followup: I’m VERY glad I got and used this!)
Total bill from San Francisco Department of Health: $307
I have to pick up the Azithromycin and Doxycycline prescriptions from Costco. (you don’t need a membership to buy from their pharmacy. It was crazy cheap, like $7 for each.)
A day later, both my arms hurt and are stiff from the injections. A few days after that, I felt “under the weather” as if a cold was coming on. Then all was well.
I’ll have to pick up some permethrin for my clothes from REI and I’m ready to go. (Followup: I’m glad I did!)
Whoever said international travel was fun was in the middle of a psychotic episode from the mefloquine.
And it sucks but this post belongs in the “Art” category.