Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tick Vaccinations

I've posted many times in the past about that scourge of island life, the tick, or more specifically, the diseases the little bastards carry.

Borrelia, or it's more well-known North American cousin, Lyme disease, is the most common illness. In fact, both Sooz and I have been tested positive for exposure to Lyme, which doesn't mean we have symptoms.

There is a more serious disease however: tick-borne encephalitis, or TBE. Once it's contracted, there is no cure. And it is not a disease that one wants to risk having! I have enough problems with my brain, thank you very much. No need for anything extra to deal with there.

We got our TBE shots when we were in the UK, so we're covered. However, a booster is recommended within 5 years, which would be next year for us. When Sooz visited London ahead of our visit last month, she went to our old NHS doctor and got a booster shot. They were very nice, and didn't charge her the non-resident's fee. (Like I've said before, I love the NHS).

However, going to our village in England to see my old doctor isn't an option for a working stiff like me, so I looked into getting the shot here. After a lot of research, I found that wasn't possible. The reason is simple: there is no TBE in the United States. The vaccine can't even be ordered here as an option, as it isn't licensed for American usage.

My plan B was to get the jab in Sweden, but I thought I'd try something else first. I contacted my company doctor with my dilemma. He took the challenge in good humor, and quickly found a good solution: the vaccine is available in Canada. He directed me to a travel clinic near the Montréal airport, and sure enough, I can stop in and get the vaccine there with no fuss.

As luck would have it, I need to visit Montréal for business in the coming weeks, so I'll plan an hour to stop by and get my booster shot.

The things we global residents have to go through....!

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