Yesterday was the last of the immunisations for a while, which is great. Some people get sick of them after a while. I was actually starting to get used to them!
- Flu shot (northern hemisphere strains)
- Japanese Encephalitis (3 of 3)
That’s 10 injections to date plus 4 vials of blood taken. We’ve got to have the 3rd Hepatitis B in a few months, i.e. whenever we’re next back in Australia, to finish that one off.
We never had any kind of reaction to the Japanese Encephalitis immunisations, which was a relief. Being red and itchy all over doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.
I’m convinced that it’s the flu shot that leads to some post-immunisation lethargy. Only on rounds 1 and 4 of immunisations did I feel the slightest bit un-well after the injections. Today I’ve felt flat and, like “pin cusion #1″, felt like I was coming down with something. In both cases I was back to normal after about 36 hours.
Total immunisation bill for the two of us: $1,601 (before Medicare rebates totalling ~$200)
Only 1 jab in the arm today for:
- Japanese Encephalitis (2 of 3)
The Japanese Encephalitis is an interesting one. Whilst it’s fairly rare the mortality rate is about 30% and a percentage of survivors wind up with some kind of mental or nervous disability as a result. I guess I see it as one of those sorts of things that is unlikely to be caught but given the consequences it’s worth immunisation against. Apparently Shenzhen is one of the most common areas for the disease. The disease is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, not the dawn and dusk kind that are most common in Australia but the “out all day” type mosquitoes. I shall have the mozzie radar on.
Second round of jabs today. Only 2 shots this time, which is good because I can have them all in the same arm. I spread the last lot out over both arms and the result was that both my arms felt weak for a day or two.
- Hepatitis B (2 of 3)
- Japanese Encephalitis (1 of 3)
Apparently the Japanese Encephalitis immunisations have a reaction with about 10% of all people that take it. That reaction results in an unbearably itchy red rash on the skin. This rash occurs about 7-10 days after having the injection. To deal with this we were each given 2 Phenergan (antihistamine) tablets to use in case of a reaction.
Had the first round of immunisations yesterday and I feel like I’m coming down with something today. This is probably fair enough given that my body has been pumped full of no less than 10 neutered diseases, all of which my body is required to fight. Yesterday I was jabbed with:
- Flu vaccination (southern hemisphere strains)
- Tetanus booster
- Hepatitis A / Typhoid combo
- Hepatitis B (1 of 3)
- Mumps, Measles and Rubella
Of all the injections it’s been the Hep B that’s hurt the most as the injection has been squirted into my arm and had the most numbness around the area.
In addition to this we both had 4 vials of blood taken for various tests to be performed. I can’t even remember what all the required tests are, however I know that one is to test for previoius exposure to Hepatitis B.
It seems that I was a little dehydrated when I arrived at the travel doctor. The poor nurse really struggled to find an easy vein in my left arm to draw blood from. She did here best but after a few minutes extracting about 3 drops of blood she had to move to the other arm. It seems that the vein was just too small and deep for her hapless hypodermic. She had much more success on the other arm.
Well, it became official just before Christmas. Gail & I are off to China for 1-2 years. Planned start date was, as I suspected, as soon as we could get organised and get up there. At that time we set a tentative early March start date. Now all we had to do was rent out our unit, sell our cars, pack and store our belongings, change all our addresses, get immunisations, organise Visa’s, go on a trip in January to make sure Gail was OK with living there for a couple years, sell a piano and hand over all my responsibilities back here in Adelaide!