On Friday I went to the nurse to get my travel injections. As I was only going to Europe I didn’t expect there’d be too much of a kerfuffle about getting fit for travel, but after a 50 minute meeting at my local surgery, I was enlightened.
Times a factor
In the morning, the nurse had given me a phone call in shock at the destinations I’m covering and wanted an overview of time spent in each to judge the dosage and what shots I needed. There were a few that I simply didn’t have time for, like rabies, which consists of three shots costing £55 each spread out over several weeks. Luckily, this jab wasn’t a cause for concern as long as I’m careful and within 24hours of a medical centre (a new star to add to my Google maps for each destination).
Lots of paper, no saving the trees
For each destination in Europe I’ll step foot in, I now have a handy overview of recent outbreaks and things to look out for, like food and water hygiene. A lot of these things I wasn’t in the mindset of thinking about so I feel more prepared now than ever. I’d add to anyone thinking about going to Europe to check out the travel injections information for each country as being informed has made me more relaxed and pleased to know what’s out there. Accidents and mistakes happen but everyone can be aware 🙂
The main destinations that required jabs were Romania, Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia, so definitely check the details before travelling.
Getting nervous but getting it done
After the 45mins of travel chat with the nurse, it was time. I don’t normally get nervous but as she prepared the three syringes and lined them up, my heart rate did increase. For this trip I had three shots covering quite a lot of nasty things; TDP (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Polio), MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) and Hepatitis A/Typhoid. Phew. I also got a handy vaccines record card so I’m up to date with what I’ve had, as before a lot of these were done in childhood and out of memory.
With lots of tick born diseases going around, I have to buy a tick remover, and with diseases spread by blood, I need to buy my own syringes for medical staff to use if I break my leg for example. While this one is quite unlikely, they’re cheap and lightweight so I’ll definitely be taking them with me. Turns out you can’t get a jab for everything, and a lot comes down to common sense and not taking too many risks.
Alcohol hand wash, dioralyte, sports drink and DEET (damn insects) also make the list for my online shopping spree and will be nice additions to the first aid kit I already own.
If I’d gone in for my injections earlier I might have got another couple done, but the good thing about doing this so close to my departure date is that all of the safety advice is fresh in my mind. I hope this experience can help with your own travel plans.