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Not perhaps the most attention-getting news in the run up to the journey (certainly less attention getting than, say, typhoid), but perhaps useful to readers considering a similar trip themselves. Or anyone who cares that I feel as if I have been punched in my arm.Yup – today’s topic is vaccinations.

I managed to finally get to the travel clinic with my little yellow vaccination certificate/book thing yesterday. Twice I had gone to the travel clinic and forgotten it at home. Once more I arrived, book in hand (and so very, very proud of myself) only to discover that the nurse had left for the day. It broke my heart, that did.

I think I am going to go for the weird dreams. The sunburn thing bit me badly in Cambodia

On the fourth occasion, however, I arrived early yesterday morning, book in hand and managed to get my missing shots. I had only intended to get the Hepatitis A jab, as most of the other vaccines have been inserted into various points in my arm over previous trips, but the nurse suggested getting vaccinated against Meningitis as well when I mentioned Sudan and Ethiopia. Apparently there is a prevalence there. I also discovered that you can spread it just by coughing. Who knew? Not I.

Having collected those two immunities and added them to the pile (sort of like Pokemon, but with needles), I am now the proud owner of a body vaccinated against:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Meningitis
  • and Yellow Fever

Other than a first aid kit, the only other major medical to-do will be sorting out antimalarials, since mosquitoes appear to love pretty much everywhere between northern South Africa and Egypt. Given a choice between Doxycycline which gives you sun-sensitivity and Mefliam, which is the progenitor of bizarre and space out dreams (sometimes), I think I am going to go for the weird dreams. The sunburn thing bit me badly in Cambodia, and I haven’t touched Doxy since. That said, I am a thorough idiot when it comes to sun avoidance, so for the other (more attentive to burning) 99% of travelling humanity, Doxy would be fine.