The only (extra) vaccines I got were the Thyphoid and Hepatitis A (both food related infections). Some doctors suggest vaccines for Japanese Encephalitis (a very rare mosquito-borne disease that affect people with suppressed immune systems due to malnutrition) and Hepatitis B (a disease that can only be spread sexually or by sharing blood) but I don’t believe that either vaccine is necessary.

Should you take malaria pills? Probably not. Your chances of getting malaria are about 1 in a million. There are different strains of malaria and the pills do not protect you from the most dangerous ones that have evolved resistance to antibiotics. Malaria pills are simply very strong antibiotics and they have very disturbing side effects (panic attacks, nightmares, depression, memory loss, confusion, nausuea). Would you take antibiotics for a whole month? A whole year? Think about the effect on your health.

Do take some regular antibiotics with you just in case. Buy a travel insurance policy (I used Seven Corners) just in case (it covers you financially in case of accident, hospitalization and evacuation that might otherwise cost you thousands). Don’t forget that eating new foods will bring on the runs, so don’t worry if your metabolism is a little off the first few days you come to a new country.


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