22 February 2012

Immunizations: Part สอง


So I was informed at the last travel clinic that I went to to get my second injection for Hep B that I should get the Japanese Encephalitis shot as I would be more likely to get JE before Malaria with an infected mosquito.  (Isn't this a fun discussion?)  I likely was told about it at the first clinic but passed on it as it was around $300 for the injection and it's a two part series.  I think we opted for me to just wear insect repellent all the time.  But when I went on the CDC website (that is one scary website!), it gave all the facts on it and yes, I'd rather pass up on the opportunity to have JE.  So the clinic dr said I should get it when I get to Thailand as the kind in the US is different than the kind available here.

Yesterday, I go to the hospital where the travel clinic is and after a lot of run around and traversing all around the 10 buildings the hospital has on property, I finally find the clinic.  Luckily, the clinic employees are use to working with travelers so their English is pretty good can't say that for the rest of the hospital though.  After we go through all the formalities, and get ready to get the shot, I sit back down and ask them if I should get a rabies shot too.  The dr. goes over the pros/cons, likelihood of me getting bitten, asks where I'll be traveling, etc.  To any of you who haven't travelled to Asia, there are dogs E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.  Running lose, dirty, ball sack flapping in the wind, and none of them have leashes or collars.  Fact.  Sometimes I'd walk along the sidewalk and nearly run into one as we cross paths.  So I ask the dr the dreaded question, "how much".  He responds with 349THB.  That's $11.37 yo!  And it's a three injection series, so $34.10 for it all here versus the $700 in the US!!!  Also, that JE injection was $14.59 as first of a two injection series versus the US at $300+.  I saw the list of the other immunizations and all around the same prices too.  Ummmm, why had I not known this??

I spent around $600 for immunizations in the US that would have cost me about $100 here.  Not including the anti-Malaria and antibiotic prescription I had gotten too for around $150.  Of course the CDC website and travel doctors all say that you should get it before you leave, and perhaps you should, but at the same time, part of me wonders why I couldn't get some of them (at least the one injection immunizations) when I first arrived here.  It's not like Hep B was waiting for me to get off the plane and jump into my body.  Sure, it's a risk to take, but there are certainly ways of deterring those pesky mosquitos and restraining yourself from eating certain foods.  Oh well.  But food for thought for those of you who plan to travel here...  perhaps it'll save you some dough because the $500 or so I could have saved by getting the immunizations here, I could have lived off of for a month.

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