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Vaccinations Question


Michelle F.
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I am scheduled to go to Tanzania, Africa from 12/3 to 12/28. I have known for a few months, but I have not been vaccinated because I wanted to be sure I felt up to the trip first. I think I can do it, so I need to move forward with my plans...which include vaccinations.

The Yellow Fever Vaccination (YFV) is required for re-entry into the U.S., unless you have a medical waiver. I don't know if I should have it or not. I don't know how to find a doctor who can reliably tell me I should not...if that's the case. I have a new neurologist who has run MANY tests, but I won't have those results until next week. From them, I do know that I have carpal tunnel and the eeg showed some slowing on the left side of my brain. I am 43 years old.

Anyway, if I have the YFV, I need to have it at least 10 days before possible exposure. I see the doctor for test results on the 10th day before my departure. One of the conditions the neuro is ruling out is Myasthenia Gravis. This is one of three conditions specifically mentioned for not having the vaccine if you have it. I called the neuro and the nurse said he said that I should be able to take it. I just don't feel I have enough information yet to make an informed decision. I don't know if the benefits outweigh the risks for me. I don't know how to pursue a waiver if I need it, either.

Any advice, information or input?? Anyone?

Thank you!

Michelle F.

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1st of all very exciting that you are going on this trip! What will you be doing there? I lived in Botswana for 2 yrs and travelled all over southern Africa. A place that is still very much in my heart.

I am not sure I have any advice for you--sounds like you need to talk to a dr about the risks and benefits--you don't want to get YF either--it's a viral hemorrhagic fever which can cause liver damage and other serious complications. I had the YF shot in 1990. I remember it made me pretty sick for about 24 hrs (upset stomach, fever, chills, etc.). But I didn't have any other problems.

B/c you will be there in the beginning of the rainy season it is probably especially important to be protected.

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My husband has begun flying to Africa, south and central recently. Very interesting- I can't wait to go.

He had the yellow fever vaccination back when he was a military pilot and he became VERY ill with what looked like the yellow fever. He got a high fever and was incoherent for a few days. I suspect that he may have some autonomic abnormalities (Mack gets it from both sides!) Bruce had a history of fainting when he was younger, extreme fatigue when younger, and very loose joints still.

I suspect the batch he was given (by the US government!) was bad as many of his fellow pilots also became very sick. No lasting ill effects.

You have a tough decision to make. I'd do it with your PCP at least. I think it's best to have your neuro results and be a day or two behind in coverage (if that's possible) rather than blindly getting the vaccination.

Best of luck & bon voyage!

Julie

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I was also vaccinated through a govt program (Peace Corps, it was once I had arrived in Africa). I read that 20% of people vaccinated get sick. And it was probably about 10 of us out a group of 50 volunteers who were pretty sick for 24-48 hrs. You probably want to plan for being potentially out of commission for a day or two after the shot, if you do get it.

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Yep, I grew up around the world as my dad was in the Air Force. Our family jokes that we grew up with so many vaccinations against things never seen in the U.S., that that's why we never get sick! Of course, I'm the lucky one to get POTS--I would rather get my average number of colds per year instead! <_<

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Yep, I grew up around the world as my dad was in the Air Force. Our family jokes that we grew up with so many vaccinations against things never seen in the U.S., that that's why we never get sick! Of course, I'm the lucky one to get POTS--I would rather get my average number of colds per year instead!

Yeah I wish I could make some kind of deal with my body - ok you can catch x amounts of colds a year or two migraines a week if I can swap that for POTS. LOL

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