Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vaccinations - Advice Anyone?

As we prepare to make our two trips to Ethiopia, one of the things we've begun to pursue is getting our vaccinations. According to the info we were sent by Gladney,
"At this time, there are no mandatory vaccinations, although some of the suggested vaccinations are yellow fever, hepatits A & B, tetanus, typhoid, and meningitis. The CDC does recommend that all family members within the adoptive household be vaccinated for Hepatits A. Since you will be staying in Addis the whole time, it is at your discretion to purchase malaria medicine, since the malaria carrying mosquitos do not live in high elevations."
Soooooo, for those of you who may have already traveled or are about to travel, my questions are:

~Which vaccinations did you choose to get and why?
~Which vaccinations did you choose NOT to get and why not?
~Did you order the malaria meds and take them during your time there? Do you think it's necessary?
~What other prescriptions did your doctor write for you to bring with you when you traveled?
~Are there any over the counter meds you would recommend we bring with us?

Thank you for your input!


alexis said...

i can't speak to ethiopia, but i can tell you what we did when we traveled to zambia, india, etc.: we got everything, with the exception of hepatitis b. it just didn't seem necessary, considering we didn't plan to have sex with strangers while we were there, or shoot up intravenously. i shouldn't be flip about it, but our risk was fairly low.

i also don't recall that we got a meningitis vaccine - i don't even think they offered it to us. maybe that's new? at any rate, yellow fever can be transmitted both in the jungle AND in the cities. typhoid is also a good one to get, since it can be in food and beverages.

we did get malaria drugs, but we strongly recommend against lariam. it can cause you all sorts of problems - dave took it once and vowed to never do it again. malarone, however, was perfect - no side effects.

get a prescription for an antibiotic, just in case. we both had to use ours in india, so we were REALLY glad to have them. in this vein, i will recommend bringing immodium. trust me.

also, sleeping pills (like ambien) are a really nice thing to have if your body can't get regulated to the time change.

woohoo - hope this means you'll be traveling soon!

Wes and Layla said...

I just wrote about that topic here: http://wesandlayla.blogspot.com/2010/06/random-updates.html

From what I've heard/read, the malaria meds probably aren't necessary in Addis because of the elevation, but if you're traveling outside of Addis, I might get them to be safe.

I also got a couple rounds of Zithromax/Azithromycin for traveler's diarrhea.

Hope that helps!

P.S. That still shot from when you got your referral makes me laugh every time! :)

AprilM said...

We got all the vaccinations that you mentioned. We didn't get the malaria medicine, because we knew that we weren't traveling outside of Addis...Also, get your Dr. to give you Cipro. for you and your husband..

Anonymous said...

We got home from Ethiopia in March 2010! We did do all the shots at our Doctor advise! We did get the malarone for malaria we took it one time we had such an upset stomach we never took it again the whole trip (1 week). We never got sick from the food EVER not even a stomach ache. We had a great time. Some other families that were in our group took only 2 or 3 shots seemed to have the travelers stomach flu and seemed to be sicker than the families that took all the shots! i would take them all to be safe but it is your call!! One thing I do know you are going to have a GREAT time!! Ethiopian is beyond words!! We hope to do it again in 2 years and hopefully we won't need those shots again!! God Bless!! Best Wishes for your family! I know you are anxious to get your hands on those 2 babies!!


Sparkz said...

We got almost all of the shots and were glad we did. We had no worries. We did not get malaria meds. Addis is high altitude and according to the CDC you do not need malaria meds. if you are not traveling out of Addis. If you are I would take them... better safe than sorry!!!

The water is sketchy so I know a few families that didn't get the shots were pretty concerned...

I had my doctor write us a prescription for a general antibiotic (we didn't need it), Lomotal (or something for diarrhea- we didn't need it but some people we traveled w/did), and phennagrine (for throwing up/upset stomach-- which I did need as some food made me sick).

I know other families recommended eye drops b/c it's so smoggy due to the exhaust but we didn't use them. I really can't think of anything else.

Leslie said...

We did all the shots too. Tetanus because mine had expired. Polio again mine was so long ago the doctor said the old kind wasn't guaranteed to work and ET has had polio outbreaks. Yellow Fever - this disease scared me so much (still traumatized by reading The Hot Zone) and I heard that although it isn't require IF there was an outbreak in ET while you are there the U.S. could potentially not let you back in (not sure if that's true or not - but I don't want to take any chances). Hep A&B are one shot but a series of two. And since we were getting all those we also got typhoid and meningitis. Six total and honestly they really didn't hurt.

Did not get the malaria medicine because we aren't going out of Addis.

I had a recommendation of taking Pepto before each meal and the travel med doctor agreed it was a good idea, just in case. Also gave us a prescription for Cipro.