While not wishing to get too involved in the medical details, the following is a brief overview of the vaccines I've had, it may prove interesting to other travellers of Asia and South East Asia.
Rabies is a serious viral disease that spreads from animals to humans. Infected animals can spread the disease to people through their saliva if contact breaks the skin. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. Vaccine is administered with two injections 1 week apart.
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus, the most common way to catch hepatitis A is by consuming water or food contaminated with the virus, or through direct contact with an infected person. Hepatitis B is a serious and potentially life threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus, the virus is spread through contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person. It is common to pick up hepatitis B through visits to clinics and hospitals in the poorer countries. The doses of A & B vaccine are given 1 month apart and then another five months later, meaning I will have the final injection while travelling. I chose to have the TwinRix vaccines which are administered together.
Typhoid is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. It can be contracted by consuming water or food contaminated by the bacteria. Adults tend to experience constipation and if the disease takes hold it can lead to serious complications such as bleeding in the gut, worsening fever, slow heart rate and swelling of the liver and spleen. The Typhoid vaccine is administered with one injection.
The injections are not at all painful, some may experience muscle aches or upper arm pain within the first 24 hours but nothing to get concerned about. To date I've had one of the TwinRix injections for Hepatitis A & B, I've had both Rabies and the single Typhoid injection. I now feel almost ready to take on the world!
Better safe than sorry...