Gimme some shots

Here they are, 408 Malarone tablets for a Malaria free worldtrip. Well in time, you could say… we just couldn’t wait 😉

Last week we received our vaccinations and decided to also order the Malaria tablets as well. After I finally found our yellow vaccination books we made an appointment with ‘Thuisvaccinatie’ (vaccination at home) for Friday afternoon between 14:00 and 18:00. Very convenient in your own home, but that time in the week is asking for trouble. And yes our prayers were answered, the needle lady calls us at six after a long afternoon of waiting that she is in a traffic jam. Sigh… well, wait some more.

When she finally arrives at a quarter to seven she does not seem to have all the vaccines with her. Although we never had problems with ‘Thuisvaccinatie’ before, this was a little disappointing. Now she has to come back for the Hepatitis shot…

For now, she painlessly sticks the needle in my arm and protects me for the rest of my days against Yellow Fever. Afterwards she seals our vaccination with a stamp in our book.

Then we get a repeat vaccination against DTP, which would expire next year. Furthermore, we get some unwanted advice on all kinds of yucky infectious diseases.

Finally we discuss the Malaria prevention issue. With some guesswork we calculate that we will stay in Malaria areas for a total of 175 days and get the choice between Lariam and Malarone.

Lariam you take once a week, you start three weeks in advance and continue to swallow four weeks after leaving the Malaria area. Lariam is known for some nasty side effects such as hallucinations, nightmares and dizziness. Hmm, sounds appealing, already looking forward to it.

Malarone, on the other hand, has almost no side effects, but must be taken daily. You start a day in advance and stop a week after leaving the Malaria area. Much more flexible!

To be on the safe side, we contact our health insurance, the Malarone pills cost € 2.30 each, so in these numbers permission of our insurance is not a waste of time. We get green light and order tablets for a small fortune, which will be paid by our insurance!

A few days later we receive a box with a total of 408 pills. Phew, quite a big stack actually. Doubtfully we try to visualize a spot in our much too full backpack for these pills.

When we’ve removed all the strips from their boxes, we can see that it is not that bad. A package as big as a half liter milk carton. We’ll survive.

We’ve considered taking the pills out of the strips and putting them in a jar, but as this may cause some unpleasant situations at customs, we will not do that after all.

Then suddenly I see the expiration date on the boxes… but wait a minute, we’re not even back then! Ugh what a farce. The tablets expire in the beginning of 2018, then we still have at least half a year to go… sigh 2.0

I contact the pharmacy but no drama, we can exchange the pills against tablets with a longer life.

Phew, now just a new appointment for our missing vaccines and then we are ready!

Or, one step further.

Another 150 nights until we go…

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