I wrote this when I was headed to Ghana, the info is still relevant and I thought you would enjoy it.
There are vaccinations needed when traveling to Africa and you must find out what they are before you get on the plane. There is no “Africa vaccine” as Africa is made up of over 50 countries and each country has different requirements, it is your responsibility to see what it is you need.
No one is going to stop you from buying your ticket, booking your hotel and making all of your arrangements if you haven’t gotten your immunizations. But when you get to the country you want to visit, you will NOT be allowed in the country and all of that money, time, and effort will have been for nothing and you don’t want that, right?
The three vaccines in the picture above are the three I had to get. My mother will be traveling with me and she had to get different ones. In order to travel to Ghana (which is where we are going, I’m so excited!) there was only one required vaccine and that was Yellow Fever. However, there were several recommended shots and pills to take and since I have a tendency to get ill (like I did when I was in Russia) I though it was best to get everything I possibly could.
My insurance covered my vaccinations so I went to the clinic and was able to get everything I needed without charge. You should call your provider to see if you are covered. If not, there are plenty of offices that handle vaccinations, or you can always call the health department in your area. You will get one of these little yellow books once you get your vaccination.
This is what happened to me after I got my shots (I got them last week).
My arm was a bit itchy and my throat was sore. I sounded like a family of frogs had moved into my larynx.
Kermit was inviting his whole family to live with him in my throat. I stayed home all day and tried not to speak to anyone as the froggy voice was scary.
I had to work. That’s always fun when you don’t feel well. My throat and ears were still sore but not as much. My arm was so sore I couldn’t sleep on my side the night before, which is great when you work at an airport and have to handle luggage. Good times. I took two hot baths with Epson salt. Thankfully I was able to leave work early.
No sore throat or ears but my neck was sore when I went to sleep and I woke up with a sore neck. I took Tylenol and by the end of the day my neck was much better. Took another bath with Epson salts.
Almost as good as new! Just a bit of a stiff neck but no more sore throat.
I’m telling you all of this so you can be aware that you may have side effects when you get your vaccinations. Oh, by the way, my mother didn’t have ANY effects. None. She said my bad reaction was due to the bad genes I got from my dad (Daddy, we will blame your side of the family for those genes but you can take credit for something else, ok?).
Have you ever had a bad reaction to a vaccination?