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What Shots Do I Need?

I just returned from a local vaccination place called Shots, etc.. I have always hated needles and once screamed and jumped around so much before a shot that they wrapped me in sheets and sat on me. I was much better behaved for my Yellow Fever shot today than I was as an eight year old.

A question everyone wants to know before traveling to Africa, "what shots do I need?" For most of the places we go, there is no requirement for vaccinations. That includes South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, and Kenya. The Yellow Fever vaccination I took today is for my visit to Uganda. Also note that the above countries will require Yellow Fever vax if you are traveling from a yellow fever country.

But, just because a country does not require vaccinations, doesn't mean you would not be wise to get vaccinations. It's advisable to go to the CDC website and review their recommendations for the country you are visiting. Here is a link:

A note about Malaria: most physicians will recommend taking malaria prophelactics for a visit to Africa. There currently is not a vaccine so you take pills before leaving for your trip and after you return. There can be some minor side effects to the pills. Some people just don't feel well when taking them and others have strange dreams. I took them for one trip to Botswana during rainy season. While I did have some crazy dreams, it was not a bad experience. But I don't take them when going to Kenya during the migration season. The reason is there are so few mosquitos during this time of year. Most types of malaria are easily cured with antibiotics. However, I am no expert on malaria and just because I don't take malaria pills, doesn't mean you should not.

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