The dreaded time is here—time to discuss immunizations. Since my childhood shots weren’t anything I concerned myself with at the time, I didn’t really anticipate facing this issue until the faraway future when I have children of my own (although I do already dread the difficulty of those choices). It has dawned on me, however, that vaccinations are an important aspect of considering international travel.
Well, I guess it isn’t a big deal to some. Apparently when people are unsure whether they’ve been immunized in the past, some would rather just go ahead and get shot up with a nice extra dose of unnecessary and downright frightening ingredients (live or dead virus, maybe some human or animal DNA, and possibly some other fun things like mercury) than have a titer done since they “have to pay for the titer anyway”. Or, as my dear father recommended, to prevent having to be stuck twice with a needle.
Others may be slightly more skittish and prefer a little more information before deciding whether or not to get a vaccine. Unfortunately this is one of those topics where the more information you read, the harder the decision becomes. The truth is, there are some definite pros and cons to either decision. If I suffer a negative effect from a vaccine (not to mention effects that may not be apparent) I will be wishing I had opted out. If I forego the Typhoid vaccine and contract Typhoid Fever on my travels, I’ll certainly be kicking myself. I was just reading another travel blog I came across where the author came down with malaria though he was taking the anti-malaria pills. I guess all a person can really do is weigh the personal risks and advantages, make a decision, and don’t look back. And fortunately, the decisions I make for myself now aren’t nearly as agonizing as they will be when I’m making them for my child someday.
So I've scheduled my appointment at the health clinic, and I’m going to get a few of those recommended shots. But I’ve decided against the Rabies. So if on my journey I end up getting bitten by a rabid bat or some kind of stray coyote… well, then, I have freakishly bad luck.
What’s your take on vaccinations?