Answering a few frequently asked questions
First let me start by saying that I am no doctor and I have no medical training, I just speak from my personal experience. This however may she some light and answer some questions that you might have on this topic.
Do I even need to vaccinate?
As I said before I am no scientist. But all the science talk makes sense to me, you however of course are free to do as you please. With that said I am no big fan of the pharmaceutics industry and a lot of people argue that vaccines are useless and actually make you sick. So read up on it if you are uncertain. Some of the common diseases in SE Asia are really nasty and even deadly.
Basically it all comes down to Where you are going and When you are going there. I did not know where I was going so I had to wing it and it worked out fine for me.
What I took when going to Asia
I went to a vaccination clinic in Sweden and explained my plans for my upcoming journey to Asia. As I had assumed they tried talking me into getting all kinds of different vaccinations. I have to admit that the vaccine for Japanese encephalitis seems to be very important, although it also costs a lot. In the end I only decided to get two different vaccines out of the maybe five or six that they recommended.
One of them was Dukoral which is something you drink to get your stomach ready for the new bacteria culture. It protects you against cholera and “tourist stomach”(diarrhea). It seems to have worked well for me because I had no issues at all except for a few times of food poisoning, damn those Indian restaurants.
Besides that I went for Twinrix which I think is almost a must have. It protects you against Hepatitis A and B. They are easily transmitted through for example badly cleaned food or sexual encounters. They are among the most common diseases to catch in this region for travelers.
I did not get any Malaria tablets as I did not think that I would be to deep in any jungles. I did however spend a lot of time in the wild nature of Asia and I just got lucky that I did not catch anything I guess. Also the thing with Malaria is that it is not everywhere, some zones you should not even think about entering without eating tablets to protect you.
How did it go
I have to say that it went rather well. I got food poisoned a few times and once I got some strange fever but after three visits to the hospital they hadn’t figured out what it was and it had passed by itself. Who knows. Funny thing is that they for a short while thought that I had Hepatitis because of the vaccine showing up on tests.
I do in no means try to say that everyone should go vaccinate, neither am I doing some kind of advertising. I have just seen a lot of people asking about these vaccinations recently and thought that a post about it might be appreciated. Make your own decision, but make an informed one.