3 reasons to get travel vaccinated

Alright, finally a chance to blog about everyone’s favourite part of travel, paying lots of money to have someone stab a needle into your arm. Amiright?

Now I’m generally from the school of ‘no way Jose, is that guy assaulting me for money’, but then there are the wonders of being your own doctor on the internet which is kind enough to let you know that everything is trying to kill you. Seriously, everything ever, and all your travel destinations are almost certain to kill you, or at least maim you horribly.

Regular readers will know that shortly we are off to South America (by way of Dubai) and this led me to looking at the worst place for medical advice; the net. Opinion is divided very evenly into two camps:

  1. The get the vaccines, or you’ll probably die at the airport camp
  2. The anecdotal “Well I did it, and I’ve still got function in some organs” camp.
Mmmm, it's pretty, but I can hear the mosquitos buzzing from 5,000KMs away!
Mmmm, it’s pretty, but I can hear the mosquitos buzzing from 5,000KMs away! Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

So having seen all this helpful advice, and given myself a serious case of the willies reading Wikipedia, I bit the bullet and went seeking medical attention, for these three reasons.

1. I value not getting major organ failure.

Now I’m well aware that this sounds a little wussy/risk averse, but there is something about reading all about major organ failure which makes you not want major organ failure. Whether in the detail of the colours you’ll go, or the fluids you’ll excrete, there is something about this piece of learning that drove me straight into the arms of a waiting physician.

2. The anticipation

Now I’ve bungee jumped, scuba dived, and driven 1 kmh over the speed limit all to get the heart pumping and the butterflies flapping, but if there is anywhere on earth which evokes these feelings more strongly than an empty waiting room belonging to a man with a collection of needles and an iron will to poke you with them, I have yet to find it.

And lets not even get started on the sense of relief after it’s over. You hop back in the car, don your cool guy sunglasses and cruise out of the car park. Survival; tick.

3. The 10th day survival party

Okay, okay, I know that this one is specific to the yellow fever vaccine, but any reason to party is a good reason! After getting this jab, there is a 10 day window during which you might actually get yellow fever. Exciting right? Adds to the beating heart mentioned in part deux. But think about it, you can finally wear that “I survived the Yellow Fever Vaccine” t-shirt that’s been floating around your cupboard for years! Rock on!

So yeah, get vaccinated.


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