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Vaccinations

kilkenny
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Vaccinations

HI, we are thinking of doing an escorted tour of South Africia visiting Cape Town and Johannesburg , the garden route and Kruger National Park. We are staying in nice 3 and 4 star hotels along the way. My question is about vaccinations. Do we need them and if so how many. Can we just get one to cover everyihing? I dont like needles so I need to find out asap, and decided whether to go no or not.

Naracoorte
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1. Re: Vaccinations

No need for vaccinations. You may like to investigate malaria meds for your Kruger visit depending on the time of year. And no, vaccinations do NOT work as an all-in-one option anyway lol!

South Africa
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2. Re: Vaccinations

Well fhe good news is hou do not need any vaccinations. But perhaps some anti malaria tablets. So no needles for you !

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Vaccinations

I have always done Hep A vaccination and subsequent boosters as contaminated water, food with faecal matter happens in any country. In fact my case occurred many many years ago in rural NSW due to negligence with Council Engineers letting sewerage into the towns water supply. I’d suggest do get it. Does not matter what country 1 visits hygiene cant be guaranteed. A single dose of hepatitis A vaccine is usually given as primary vaccination and then a booster dose can be given 6-12 months after the first vaccination to prolong its effect. Ideally, the vaccination should be given 4 weeks before travel. The consequences are not fun……….. prevention better than cure.

kilkenny
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4. Re: Vaccinations

Thanks so much for the replies so far. If it means we can get away with just the malaria tablets then Ill go. Life long fear of injections so I try and avoid as much as poss. LOL... We wont be going off the beaten track anyway and staying in very nice places along the way. We are going in September by the way. What is the weather usually like around that time??? Cool or warm.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Vaccinations

If a jab with a needle saves liver damage and ensuing consequences.... Id go with the prevention matters not how top rated your Hotel , Lodge is , rural vs country can you guarantee your food is prepared with the best standards of hygiene?

Cape Town
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6. Re: Vaccinations

September is early spring but Cape Town and Joburg have quite different climates. This is a big country!

Cape Town will be starting to warm up - daily maximum up to around 20C. Mixture of clear sunny days and showers, occasional heavy rain. However everywhere will be lovely and green following the winter rains and the wildflowers will be at their best.

Joburg and the north, on the other hand have very dry winters. September is still dry season so bright, unbroken sunny days (max mid to high 20s) but cold nights. At the end of the dry season everywhere is uniformly brown (except irrigated gardens). The vegitation is so dry that there are frequent veld fires, so the atmosphere in the suburbs and further out is often very hazy.

Kruger is at much lower altitude that Joburg so the days get warmer. Temperatures are often in the 30s in September and we have been in Kruger over 40C in mid September before the rains start to cool things down.

Cape Town
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7. Re: Vaccinations

Stargaze. Firstly, according to CDC, Hep A vaccination is normally effective for at least 25 years (up to 20 years in children) so the OP may well already have coverage. I agree there might be some risk of catching it after that period - but, I think that the point is that the places and establishments the OP is visiting have no greater risk that similar places in Ireland or other parts of Europe or USA that I see that the OP has recently visited. If her Hep A vaccination is not up to date it's her decision whether to boost it now or some other time.

Then I didn't quite understand your first point. You say that you caught Hep A some time ago in Australia. My understanding was that the only good thing about a dose of Hep A is that it gives the patient life-time immunity to the disease. Why then do you still always "do" Hep A vaccination and boosters? Or maybe I misunderstood?

Edited: 06 January 2014, 13:03
Kruger National...
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8. Re: Vaccinations

Hi there!

I live in the Kruger area, so can tell you all about the weather in September here.

Basically, Sept is an early transition month between the end of our dry period (ends around July/August) and out wet season (starts around November). The weather can differ between beautiful, hot days with no clouds in the sky, or it can be a chilly 19 degrees with cloud and drizzle - even rain sometimes. But, generally it is quite warm (20 - 25 degrees) with cloud or sun.

Warmest regards

Jacqui l Owner l Lodge Trackers Safari Specialists l South Africa

Sydney, Australia
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2,097 posts
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9. Re: Vaccinations

I had it over 40 years ago Van so ask my Dr why , am sure she knows given she is qualified...But hey it doesnt immune you for life. Well always debate.... I am just saying prevention is best not prosetlysing but am sure youre the expert.

Cape Town
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10. Re: Vaccinations

No I am certainly not a specific expert, althogh I have been involved with Biochemical Immunology for many years - although on the analytical rather than diagnostic side. So I do have some broadly relevant experience.

Howevr the US CDC states the following :

"If I have had Hepatitis A in the past, can I get it again?

No. Once you recover from Hepatitis A, you develop antibodies that protect you from the virus for life. An antibody is a substance found in the blood that the body produces in response to a virus. Antibodies protect the body from disease by attaching to the virus and destroying it."

However your doctor obviously knows your medical history in detail and certainly, for some reason, may advise differently.

Edited: 06 January 2014, 13:39