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Vaccinations and their costs for a 6 week trip to SE Asia

  • ms1892

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd December, 2009
    Posts: 38

    I am planning a 6 week trip to SE Asia in April. I am hoping to take in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and maybe even Vietnam if time permits.

    I am curious about the vaccinations which will be required for this trip. Having consulted my doctor he recommended the following:

    Hep B (£78)
    Meningitis ACWY (£32)
    Rabies (£120)
    Japanese Encephalitis (£156)
    Tick Born Encephalitis (£144)
    Typhoid (Free)
    Hep A (Free)

    This works out at a staggering £530 ($860US) and that is before anti malarial drugs at £11 per prescription.

    In your experience are all these vaccinations really required or is my doctor simply pushing these treatments as a money maker for the surgery? I have heard in the past that there is a quite substantial mark up on the true costs, particularly for the Japanese encephalitis vaccine.

    #1 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 17:12

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  • deliverusma-
    ud

    Joined Travelfish
    20th January, 2010
    Posts: 6

    Hi ms1892,

    Presumably you're in the UK. Are you in London by any chance? I visited a much cheaper travel clinic in London (1st contact - google them) after seeing a recommendation on a forum. They offered a free consultation (i'm really hoping this doesn't look like advertising - it really isn't). I am only going to Thailand though. I was told I didn't need the Japanese Encephalitis jab and no-one mentioned meningitis. I also did not get Hep B (i'm not looking to get "involved" with anyone). I only got the Rabies jab because I am terrified of dogs and wanted the 'peace of mind' that would come from getting them. The Rabies jabs cost me £17.50 per course (3 courses) from the afforementioned place. I got the same 'free' jabs you were offered on the NHS and was also given Revaxis (tetanus, diptheria and polio) without asking. I have heard that if you tell your doctor that you're working with animals you can perhaps get some jabs free but i'm not 100% sure about that and you may well need some proof.

    I do have a price list at home but sorry, I won't be able to give you those details as I won't be on the computer again until 3 weeks' time (i'm off to Thailand tomorrow - yay)!

    Enjoy your trip :).

    #2 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 17:40

  • ms1892

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd December, 2009
    Posts: 38

    Thanks deliverusmaud,

    Im sadly miles away from London, but I will have a scout around on the internet for better prices. I assumed that as I was getting the jabs on the NHS then the price would be the same across the board. Seemingly not.

    I am intruiged to know how the prices compare in the UK to the US or Australia?

    #3 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 19:33

  • johnno

    Joined Travelfish
    18th December, 2009
    Posts: 19

    Hi! First of all, when are where are u starting this 6wk trip? I'm planning a similar trip around april to complete my unfinished tour of sth east asia by overland commenced on xmas/new years period (only reached b'kok from s'pore in 2 1/2wks by train!) Would be interested to know ur itinerary as i've yet to plan mine (thinking in lines of kuala lumpar - phuket - b'kok (for songkran fest) - chiangmai - cambodia - laos - vietnam - b'kok or vice versa, by mix of rail/bus/air) Any suggestions would be great. As for ur question re vaccinations, despite being bitten by mossies number of times in malaysia & thailand (south to b'kok), hey am still here! But seriously, I haven't heard of people catching dangerous insect-borne diseases in thailand and was fully mossie proof on the days where i did bother to use mossie repellants. Dogs always steered clear away from u and because there are people everywhere u could always ask them should u feel lil worried about catching certain disease. I had my hep B done through work at hosp. I'll have to do a lil more research on neighbouring countries however, but in any case i know that vaccinations in thailand are cheap and easily available so will probably get them done there. U can buzz me on my email liferehab@gmail.com if u want to share ur itinerary or just to catch up somewhere in thailand. Have u checked out travbuddy.com? Fantastic site to see if there are otheres travelling to ur destination. Cheers

    #4 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 20:06

  • johnno

    Joined Travelfish
    18th December, 2009
    Posts: 19

    Hi! First of all, when are where are u starting this 6wk trip? I'm planning a similar trip around april to complete my unfinished tour of sth east asia by overland commenced on xmas/new years period (only reached b'kok from s'pore in 2 1/2wks by train!) Would be interested to know ur itinerary as i've yet to plan mine (thinking in lines of kuala lumpar - phuket - b'kok (for songkran fest) - chiangmai - cambodia - laos - vietnam - b'kok or vice versa, by mix of rail/bus/air) Any suggestions would be great. As for ur question re vaccinations, despite being bitten by mossies number of times in malaysia & thailand (south to b'kok), hey am still here! But seriously, I haven't heard of people catching dangerous insect-borne diseases in thailand and was fully mossie proof on the days where i did bother to use mossie repellants. Dogs always steered clear away from u and because there are people everywhere u could always ask them should u feel lil worried about catching certain disease. I had my hep B done through work at hosp. I'll have to do a lil more research on neighbouring countries however, but in any case i know that vaccinations in thailand are cheap and easily available so will probably get them done there. U can buzz me on my email liferehab@gmail.com if u want to share ur itinerary or just to catch up somewhere in thailand. Have u checked out travbuddy.com? Fantastic site to see if there are otheres travelling to ur destination. Cheers

    #5 Posted: 27/1/2010 - 20:41

  • Indoluso

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 133

    Hello!

    I'm also going to travel in SE Asia and I just went to the doctor who only gave me the typhoid fever, hep A and hep B shots (you can get the hep's in a mixed one called Twinrix).

    I asked about rabies and japanese encephalities and the doctor said that you only need these if you're going to be in direct contact with animals, so it isn't the case if you're going for tourism. I didn't take these.

    About the "tick born" and the meningitis ones I've never heard about them, not even in the medical tropical center here in my country.
    I don't think even 99% of backpakers do those ones, looking at forum topics about taking the malaria pills or not, a far more present desease..

    #6 Posted: 28/1/2010 - 00:01

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7041
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hep B is primarily spread by bodily fluids and blood -- so basically sex and sharing needles. SO the need for that depends on your personal circumstances.

    Hep A is essential IMO

    Typhoid is free so why not.

    Rabies is a tricky one -- if you get bit you will still need further treatment but the vaccination gives you more time to get to it. My suggestion would be to steer clear of crazy dogs and foaming backpackers.

    Malaria: a lot depends on where you are going. See this story for more info and our take on it. http://www.travelfish.org/feature/95

    I'd not heard of the tick borne Encephalitis, Japanese is the more common one you hear of. It's a personal call on that, but worth noting you can catch that in your home country (it killed my sister who caught it in Sydney of all places)

    Of the above, I would definitely get Hep A and typhoid.

    Hope that helps

    #7 Posted: 28/1/2010 - 07:28

  • EmjayReet

    Joined Travelfish
    4th July, 2006
    Location Australia
    Posts: 156
    Total reviews: 3

    My normal GP is a travel doctor who specialises in Malaria... and other tropical diseases... his advice was the following :

    Hep A
    Hep B
    Typhoid
    Tetanus

    As for malarial drugs forget it, get yourself a good strength mosquito repellent that contains about 20-30% DEET and apply... prevention is better than a cure and will help protect against malaria and dengue fever!

    Tetanus should be free if you tell your doctor you stepped on a rusty nail!

    #8 Posted: 30/1/2010 - 16:18

  • catherine25

    Joined Travelfish
    25th May, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Hi

    Im heading off at the end of June.

    I got Hep A & Typhoid, Tetanus & Polio & Diptheria. I'm not getting rabies, as I won't be in direct contact with animals and so don't really think I need it.

    Although I'm still really unsure about Japanese Encephalitis (I think this vaccine include Tick Borne Encephalitis), its almost £100 but were travelling for about 2months and apparently its recommended for 2months and over!!

    Anyone any advice/have got the Japanese Enc vaccine??

    Thanks!!

    #9 Posted: 27/5/2010 - 01:25

  • catherine25

    Joined Travelfish
    25th May, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Also any advice on Malaria tablets??

    Malarone looks good, as don't interfer with the pill, but are so so expensive for a long trip!! So was thinking about just going with Doxycycline as its cheaper?

    Thanks!

    #10 Posted: 27/5/2010 - 01:27

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  • ms1892

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd December, 2009
    Posts: 38

    Sorry to resurrect this thread from the dead, but i thought I would update on my trip.

    I decided to get great insurance and be a cheap ass for the rest of it. I even skipped anti-malarials. It turns out that skimping wasnt the greatest idea ever. I even shunned mosquito nets and insect repellant. Seriously dumb.

    I spent time on Koh Tao and upon leaving to return to Bangkok I felt a little, shall we say, under the weather. So much so that I checked into a hotel rather than a hostel upon my arrival in the city to better rest. Still feeling ill I decided it was over tiredness and took a Xanax and went to sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night sick. Really sick.

    I dont remember much of the rest but I woke up 2 days later in hospital attached to a drip. Dengue fever. Not fun. Not least when its haemorragic. Definitely the worst experience ever. And given the Red Shirt antics at the time and the UK Home Office warning against travel... you guessed it, my insurance wouldnt cover it.

    I learned an expensive and annoying lesson. But im alive. And the trip was AWESOME. Just dont be an arse and do take the reasonable precautions that I should have!

    PS I know that Dengue isnt something you can vacinate against, but im fairly sure that by not being a jackass you can mitigate the risk rather better than I did. Insect repellan, not sleeping off a hangover in the shade outdoors all day etc...

    #11 Posted: 11/11/2010 - 07:24

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2073
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    I'm surprised that your insurance wouldn't cover you for this - what on earth has Dengue got to do with the Red Shirts? I had just assumed they wouldn't cover you for cancelled flights, etc and any injuries incurred at the demonstrations. That sucks.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles - but thanks for posting this for others to learn from. Personally, I HATE wearing insect repellant. At the end of the day, I would shower, then head out for dinner after spraying myself. After dinner, I would come back and wash it all off before going to bed - I hate the stuff! But it's obviously worth it.

    If you're in a mosquito area and you don't have a mozzie net with you (and one isn't provided by a guest house), be sure to turn the fan so that it is blowing over you, and turn it on high. Mozzies don't like the air movement. This of course, doesn't work so well if you are staying on an island where they cut the power at night. :-(

    #12 Posted: 11/11/2010 - 07:42

  • MyDestiny

    Joined Travelfish
    8th November, 2010
    Posts: 5

    Hi Gang, I am traveling Thai & Islands, Malaysia and Vietnam for 4 months. I thought I had all my shots, looks like I will go back to the clinic and confirm the shots you all mentioned. They did tell me that I might need Japanese Enc. which would cost me $900. USD. But said I could get out of the shot if I stayed in the urban areas.

    I'm looking forwaed to my trip starting 30 November to April 6, 2011 and hope I can enjoy myself and of course take all the necessary precautions.

    @ busylizzy I get tired of all that repel as well ... Oh Hum ... guess it is necessary.

    @ Somtam2000 ... my heart and prayers to you and your family on the loss of your sister. She is in my heart and my head as I take these necessary precautions.

    Thanks all for sharing.

    #13 Posted: 11/11/2010 - 09:51

  • AmandaBella

    Joined Travelfish
    14th November, 2010
    Posts: 3

    Hey... no one mentioned but you may want to get the MMR again if you never got it or have not been vaccinated in like 20 years for it. I got Mumps (yeah crazy!) this past August when I traveled to Asia. For females you just get massive swelling of the face but for men it can be bad! Massive swelling of the face and maybe "family jewels" and possible sterilization. You never know what you will come in contact with so look into an MMR (Mumps, Measel, Rubella) shot.

    Have fun!

    #14 Posted: 14/11/2010 - 09:31

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