Vaccinations - Yellow Fever Rip Off!

Stewartsville Travel Blog

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The list of vaccinations needed to travel to any country outside of the US can be daunting, and Tanzania is not excluded.  I used the following website to get a list by country of what I will need: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationList.aspx

I took the list to my general practitioner and they stuck me 3 times before I left the office (Hep A, polio, and MMR booster) and then recommended me to a travel doctor for the others on my list.  Apparently the non-standard vaccinations can't be administered by a GP, and the fact that they're non-standard means that chances are your insurance will not pay for them (blast!). 

Because of this, I spent the day calling clinics in the area searching for the cheapest yellow fever vaccination (this is the most expensive one I will need).  I knew from doing some reading online that it should cost somewhere between $100-$150.  Because of this, a conversation with one place I called went a little something like this...

Me: Hi, I'm looking to get a yellow fever vaccination and I was wondering how much it might cost at your office."
Receptionist: Hold on, let me check... that would be 275."
Me: *labored pause* .... is that in dollars?"

Assonine question, I'm aware, but the price was equally assonine.  Moral of the story: stay away from "The Doctor is In".

I've made my appointment in April with the most reasonably priced office in the area (yellow fever wound up being $120 with an administration fee of $15) to get the yellow fever and typhoid vaccination, and to get my malaria pills prescription.  I plan on asking for either atovanquone/proguanil or doxycycline, NOT mefloquine as it is said to induce bad dreams.
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Here's the plan: after my best friend's wedding July 19th, I plan on heading to Tanzania until the end of the summer.  I have a slight obsession with the continent of Africa: its beauty, culture, struggles, and people.  I have 2 goals in my travel: 1) to experience the people, culture, and sights as genuinely as possible and 2) to have purposeful travel by not just touring but providing assistance in one of the world's poorest countries and one of the highest AIDS death tolls in the world.  My method?  After many, many, many hours of searching online, I decided to work alongside native Tanzanians for 3 weeks in an orphanage called Hands of Mercy.  I chose this organization because it is grassroots and because the donation they ask for is minimal (I am working on a teacher's salary, after all!)  Afterwards, I will be going on a 4 day safari before returning home.

Each post I make until my departure will pertain to some aspect of an immense task such as this.  Hopefully this will help others who are planning a similar adventure.  Best of luck to you all!
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