Q. Do we have to get a lot of shots to go on safari?
A. No, but your doctor might think so. Here’s what I mean. The only shot that any of the governments of sub-Sahara Africa might require is a vaccination against yellow fever, and then only in certain cases and with certain countries. But that doesn’t mean that your doctor may think that’s all you need.
Several physicians in Munich, Germany, recently were recommending that families planning to visit Disneyland get immunized against hepatitis. This because of a heptatis scare traced to a fast food place in Orlando.
American hospital travel clinics often recommend quite a cocktail of shots, and I do think some of them are unnecessary. What I would do is not go to a travel clinic, but make an appointment with your own physician. This is sometimes difficult, because individual physicians are often trained to funnel you to their hospital’s travel clinic, but I think the time and money you might spend insisting you see your own internists will ultimately pay off. I really think of travel clinics as profit centers with little real science behind them.