Plan ahead to avoid short­age

THERE IS MORE TO TRAV­EL­LING OVER­SEAS THAN JUST PICK­ING A PLACE AND BOOK­ING TICK­ETS

Shepparton News - - NEWS - SION­NIE KELLY sion­nie.kelly@shep­p­news.com.au

In the past two weeks I’ve had so many nee­dles jabbed into my arms I’m start­ing to feel like a pin cush­ion.

A re­cent de­ci­sion to travel over­seas to Sri Lanka has seen the need for me to get vac­ci­nated against cer­tain dis­eases such as ty­phoid fever and hep­ati­tis B.

Plus I also needed to re­new my te­tanus so I could be cov­ered against ill­nesses like te­tanus, diph­the­ria and whoop­ing cough.

Dur­ing my vac­ci­na­tion marathon I’ve en­coun­tered only one hur­dle and that’s get­ting the hep­ati­tis B vac­cine.

This is given in three stages and right now I’m on an ac­cel­er­ated pro­gram.

I was given one in­jec­tion and then seven days later got the sec­ond jab and in three weeks time I’ll get the third and fi­nal dose.

The prob­lem with get­ting the hep­ati­tis B vac­cine for adults at the mo­ment is that it’s in short sup­ply.

When I was given the script for it I phoned sev­eral chemists to find out if they had it in stock and I was told from each per­son they had not had it for months.

Ac­cord­ing to the Hep­ati­tis Aus­tralia web­site, hep­ati­tis B is the most com­mon liver in­fec­tion in the world and en­ters the body and trav­els to the liver through the blood­stream.

You can con­tract it through blood or sex­ual con­tact and the vac­cine is of­ten rec­om­mended to trav­ellers as a pre­cau­tion.

In the end I had to go back to my doc­tors to get the vac­cine and was told by them that I was not the first pa­tient to be re­ferred back.

Turns out the hep­ati­tis B sup­ply short­age was not lim­ited to Shep­par­ton but Aus­tralia.

The sup­plier, Glax­oSmithK­line Aus­tralia, stated on its web­site man­u­fac­tur­ing of the vac­cine was tem­po­rar­ily halted as a pre­cau­tion.

‘‘Pro­duc­tion is now back to nor­mal how­ever it will take time to re-build ca­pac­ity,’’ the state­ment said.

‘‘At this stage we are un­able to con­firm a re-sup­ply date.’’

Glax­oSmithK­line Aus­tralia went on to say En­gerix-B pae­di­atric dose was still avail­able as was the Twin­rix com­bined hep­ati­tis A and B vac­cine.

This ex­pe­ri­ence has taught me sev­eral things: if you’re plan­ning to travel, or­gan­ise your vac­ci­na­tions early, be­fore you book your flights and make sure you have your vac­ci­na­tion his­tory ready for your doc­tor to read.

IF YOU’RE PLAN­NING TO TRAVEL, OR­GAN­ISE YOUR VAC­CI­NA­TIONS EARLY, BE­FORE YOU BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS . . .

Bound for Sri Lanka: News jour­nal­ist Sion­nie Kelly is plan­ning a trip to Sri Lanka. Pic­tured here is pop­u­lar Sri Lankan tourist at­trac­tion the Si­giriya Rock.

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