Post # 1
We’re going on an Kenyan safari for our honeymoon and it’s getting close to when we need to start getting our shots. The thing is they are not covered by our insurance and it’s a pretty hefty list for Kenya.
Has anyone else gone to Kenya? Did you get all the CDC recommended vaccinations? Which ones did you skip?
Post # 3
When I went, I got them all. I was in high school and still covered under my parents’ insurance, so I can’t speak to cost. I wouldn’t play around with things like vaccinations, though. You’re going to spend a whole lot more money on treatment if you do come home with an infectious disease.
Post # 4
There are a few that I’m not considering cutting at all.
Rabies is one of the ones off the top of my head that I’m on the fence about.
Post # 5
Obviously, you should speak to a licenced travel medicine specialist, but I have lots of travel clinic experience, and they have generally told me that it is ok to skip rabies (unless you are going to be in remote areas or interacting with wild animals). I have also not taken menengitis in the past. I did take it when I was going to be working in a hospital.
Most major cities have a travel medicine specialist that can weigh the pros and cons of each jab and let you know which ones are key.
You also may have lots of them anyways just from regular immunizations.
Post # 6
I went to Tanzania for a trip, not honeymoond, and I bought ALL of the medications, I wanted to be super prepared. HOWEVER, the treatment for malaria was both expensive (it is prevention, not treatment, I should clarify) and messed with me emotionally. Once I got there and talked to other Americans living there, they just slept with nets (or made sure there was air conditioning or a fan that would keep the air moving and prevent bites) and if they had some symptoms, there was a local clinic that offered a blood test and treatment for less than 3 American dollars. It seemed to me that malaria was comparable to the flu, and that treatment early on was easier than trying to prevent it. I hope that makes sense. I did take the typhoid vaccination, it was pills and not very expensive if I remember correctly. I did also get the yellow fever vaccine. I cannot remember how much it was, however. But I would definitely talk to a travel specialist about it.
Post # 7
Absolutely talk to someone who is knowledgable about travel vaccinations and not someone trying to sell you more vaccines/meds!! I attended a lecture by a travel doctor who advised all of us that most of the vaccines are not necessary.
He said something like what what love108 mentioned above, the medication to prevent malaria makes most people crazy and has really intense side effects. The treatment for malaria on the other hand is cheap and doesn’t have the same side effects. A good net that is treated will keep the mosquitoes away at night!
Post # 8
I’m trying to remember – I went to Kenya and Tanzania in Feb. I had Hep A+B combo (I think. It may have just been B), yellow fever, and I took malaria tablets. That was the required stuff. I have all the general other vaccinations from when I was a child. I was completely fine. Drink bottled water! Also, Kenya is not as cheap as you would think.
Post # 9
Thanks guys! I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought all the recommended vaccinations were a bit much. Looking into a travel clinic now!
Post # 10
I would advise getting all the standard vaccinations done eg Hep A/B, typhoid, tetanus, and so on, as these are useful anywhere, and once you’ve had the boosters, some last up to 10 years.
Otherwise, speak to a doctor and get their advice. Re malaria meds, I would do your research; some meds are better than others, and have fewer side effects, but typically you pay a premium. My OH and I got some cheap ones when we went to the DR, and they were awful: loads of side effects like nausea and a bad stomach, my skin peeled off in huge pieces, etc, and we had to take them for 6 weeks. Whereas my friend took some that were 20 times the cost (I think they were £80, which is about $120), but she had no side effects, and only had to take them for about 2.5 weeks. I personally would probably take malaria meds in Kenya; I wouldn’t somewhere like Mexico or the DR, because the risk is so small, but in Kenya it’s higher. I would also check with your travel and medical insurance that you will be covered for treatment if you fail to get the advised vaccinations; I know things work differently in the UK, but some of our travel insurance policies exclude treatment if you fail to get the recommended vaccinations.
Post # 11
A friend of mine just got back from an African safari through a couple of countries including Kenya. I’m not sure which country it was but she said the border patrol checked their vaccinations and would not let her husband enter because he was missing one. I believe it was typhoid or dengue fever. He had to either leave or get the shot at the border (what he did). The point is, I would not take the chance with skipping vaccines.
Post # 12
Agree with the other posters – just go to a travel med clinic, the one we go to is super realistic and doesn’t push meds on us that we don’t want. They should just give you the facts and general recommendations tacked on to some insider knowledge, and let you make the decisions yourselves. Regarding malaria preventative medicine, there are several that are used, and some of them serve other medicinal purposes (I think one is a antibiotic) so one or more might be covered by your insurance and could be very inexpensive. Malaria isn’t something I would mess with.
Also another note, last time we went to a travel medicine clinic, nothing was covered by our insurance, so we had to pay everything up front. But I later submitted to my health insurance to see if there was any possibility that they could cover part of it, and they ended up reimbursing me for the majority of the payments. Not sure how your insurance works, but it might be worth a try.
We’re doing a safari for our hm too and I’m so excited. But also not looking forward to getting all the vaccinations we’ll need.
Post # 13
@kate02121: Thanks for the insurance info. I already called and they said nothing was covered – even the malarone :(. I may submit after the fact just in case!
@slicey19: I haven’t seen anywhere that any are required but now I’ll double check – thanks!
Post # 14
Go to a travel clinic. Don’t worry about the Rabies vaccine, just stay away from dogs. You are actually required to have the Yellow Fever and Typhoid shots for a visa to some countries (Tanzania required it, and I think Kenya may). I went to Tanzania a few years back and just got an MMR booster (Measles is endemic in that area of the world and your childhood vaccine is only effective for about 10 years, plus measles as an adult is worse and can cause infertility), typhoid, yellow fever and took Malarone for Malaria. Don’t mess around with Malaria. THe locals there won’t make a huge deal about it, but its because they have some immunity as it is endemic in their area, so don’t get that ill. Since you have never been exposed, Malaria can be life threatening, and I wouldn’t take the chance. If you do contract Malaria and get seriously ill, they will have to air lift you to Nairobi and then to Europe before letting you come back here. Check to make sure that your Health insurance will cover you out of the country and pay for the medical evacuation. I agree with PPs to go see a travel clinic. They can get the vaccines cheaper than your Primary because they do the vaccinations regularly. Good luck and have fun! Safaris are so fun!!