Monday, July 24, 2006

To Vaccinate, or not to vaccinate...

...that is the question. I try to stay away from traditonal "western" medicine as much as possible. I like to think I'm a pretty healthy person - really, how often have you seen me get ill? Maybe the yearly cold/sniffles in the winter, but that's about it. I spend so much time, effort (and money!) eating healthy, vegetarian/vegan organic foods, why would I willfully inject myself with toxic chemicals?

But, since I will be in the Caribbean for two months, and in Mexico shortly after that, I decided that I would rather not take any chances, and be realistic. I don't know how long I will be able to keep my medical coverage here in Canada, so I might as well take advantage of it - I've been paying into it for 14 years! I looked up what vaccinations are recommended by our glorious BC Health organization, and here 'tis:

Hepatitis A is the most common disease among travellers that can be prevented by vaccine. Those who will be living, working or travelling in developing countries, particularly in rural areas, should receive a hepatitis A vaccine and;

  • Ensure proper hygiene and take precautions with food and drink;
  • Avoid raw fruit and vegetables, salads, dairy products with unpasteurized milk, raw or undercooked meat, fish and shellfish, and any food sold by street vendors
  • Swim only in chlorinated pools.

uhh, avoid raw fruit & vegetables?!?! That simply will not be possible. Why don't they just say, Ïf you're a vegetarian, don't bother eating ANYTHING?!?!

Malaria is endemic (i.e., constantly present) in most of sub-Saharan Africa; in large areas of the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, Oceania, Haiti, Central and South America; and in parts of Mexico, North Africa and the Dominican Republic. It can be spread to humans by infected mosquitoes.

So, I'll be slathered in sunscreen by day, and bug repellent by night. What will I do with all of my perfume?

I'm not sure what other shots will be recommended, I haven't had any since grade 9. Maybe tetanus? Rabies? I have my appointment next week, I'll let you know how it goes...