Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Vaccinations - Part Deux

Thankfully, my “Little Yellow Book” is about as thick as they come... when you travel extensively and get tons of little shots, they fill up this nefarious-looking little yellow paper book that you must show to the appropriate authorities whenever you cross borders.

But when you’re working with chimps and other primates/animals that can catch diseases from you easily and vice versa, it’s important not only to keep yourself safe but keep them safe too!

Anyway, Adam is not as well-versed with vaccinations and travel drugs as I am, so I printed out a handy dandy checklist for Adam to bring to his travel clinic -- staffed by a doctor who, according to Adam, looks a lot like Dr Nick (from the Simpsons):

Dr. Nick looks at Adam’s checklist, and proceeds to tell him, using his Doctorly-Persuasive-Tone, that he doesn’t need all these vaccinations and that many of these vaccinations Adam got as a child are “lifetime vaccinations.”

Now, one of the things we teach people who go on chimp walks at Ngamba Island -- no vaccinations are really “lifetime.” Whooping Cough is supposed to be a lifetime vaccine, but it runs out in your late teens. I know this because I got whooping cough in Uganda. All 8 weeks of hacking, spouting, coughing, choking, gagging, throwing up Whoop-Loveliness. Tell me again about lifetime vaccines, Dr. Nick. I’m just glad I didn’t DIE (which everyone in my wagon on the Oregon Trail did whenever they got The Whoop).

I probably wouldn’t be so irate if Dr. Nick didn’t then start selling Adam on a “great malaria drug” --

“Oh,” he says, “you only have to take it once a week! It’s super! Buy it!! Take it!! It’s delliiiiccciooouuss.”

[Editor’s Note: fervor may be slightly exaggerated]

You know what drug he’s talking about?

LARIUM -- aka Mefloquinine. I don’t need to tell you about Larium. Check here. And here. And here.

And use this as your takeaway message:

Sometimes, even after the Larium making you insane has left your system, you STAY CRAZY.

Side effects: Permanent Insanity

No thanks!

We do need to go in this week and get Adam the rest of his shots... and me some more Meningitis. Especially after Etaito's death, it's not one I'm going to leave out...

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