Just a few (very expensive) pokes!

We went to a travel clinic called Passport Health to get the majority of our vaccinations in preparation for our round the world (RTW) life reset. They are a one-stop-shop for travel vaccines, versus many doctor’s offices which would likely have to order some of the vaccines people need. 

TIP: Do Your Own Research First

Prior to visiting Passport Health, I did some research on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) web site (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/), as was recommended by my physician. The site is very thorough and I was able to put together a spreadsheet outlining vaccine recommendations based on the countries we anticipate visiting. Researching like this was a good idea, otherwise it could have been quite overwhelming to try and process all of the information and options in an hour-long appointment

Shown above is the spreadsheet we used to organize things – clicking it will open a PDF for easier viewing. You will notice that recommendations are often regional. For example, the Southeast Asia countries we plan to visit all have similar recommendations. Likewise with the countries we plan to visit in South America. There is no way we will be visiting all of the countries on the spreadsheet, but we wanted to include all possibilities to get a big picture of things. 

Rachel getting vaccinations

What vaccines did we get?

Both of us previously had the following vaccines as kids – MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), Chicken Pox, Polio – so we did not need to get those. We also already received our seasonal flu shot this year. Vaccinations that we received, or will be getting, are:

  • Hepatitis A/B (Peter) – Series of three shots over 6 months.
  • Hepatitis A (Rachel) – Series of two shots 6 months apart. Rachel did not need the Hepatitis B vaccine because she already had been vaccinated due to being a health care worker. 
  • Cholera – This lasts about two years, so we’ll get this closer to our departure date.
  • Tdap (Tetanus) – Done
  • Typhoid – Done
  • Yellow Fever – Done
Always the Optimist – According to Rachel on the car ride home, “If the $hit hits the fan and society collapses, at least we know we’re good for a while!”

    $$ Vaccines Are Not Cheap…Brace Yourself!

    The office visit, Hepatitis A/B series, Cholera, Tdap, Typhoid and Yellow Fever vaccinations came to a grand total of $2,731.00 for the two of us – Yikes, and we still may not be done! There are a few vaccines that are “to be determined” once we consult with our doctors.

    • Malaria – we are definitely bringing malaria medications, but need to get this with a prescription through our doctors.
    • Rabies – tbd
    • Japanese Encephalitis – tbd

    If you thought the other vaccines were expensive, the rabies vaccine series is $1,140 per person, and the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine is $774 per person. That adds up to an additional $3,828! We’ll update this post once we meet with our doctors and make a decision on whether we get these. 

    Peter getting vaccinations
    It Started Out OK – I do not like giving blood. It makes me break out into a cold sweat and I get a bit woozy for five minutes or so. However, I’m fine with getting shots and did great getting jabbed four times today – two in each arm. Apparently, I am NOT fine with watching Rachel get shots. I had gone first and all went well. Then Rachel started getting her vaccinations and I became the photographer. Worked well until the third jab. Cold sweat – CHECK! Woozy feeling – CHECK! Sit down for five minutes before leaving – CHECK! Now we know why my extent of working in health care is limited to the public relations department!

    Did it hurt?

    Within 30 minutes Rachel’s left shoulder (not sure which two vaccines were in that arm) started to ache. About an hour later I started to feel mine. We feel both shoulders, but our left shoulders are both VERY sore. Two days later the soreness was almost gone.

    International Certificate of Vaccination

    When vaccinated you will receive an International Certificate of Vaccination (“Yellow Card”, which documents what vaccines you have had and is kept in your passport. This is particularly important with the Yellow Fever vaccine. Some countries will not let you enter from a country that has a risk of Yellow Fever transmission.

    Do you have any thoughts to share about hitting the life reset button? Please post below or contact us directly!

    3 Comments

    Angie · January 10, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Ouch!

    David Gould · March 31, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Peter
    You should check how long prior to arriving that you need some of these vaccines. You could easily go to our doctor in Brisbane ( need to check) for a vaccine. We think our vaccines are expensive however nowhere near the cost you are paying. The reason I need to check is that they maybe subsidized by our Govt. Also I have previously had some vaccinations in Bangkok (even cheaper) so it would be worth the research

    Cheers
    David

      Peter & Rachel · April 1, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      David – thanks so much! We’ll reach out to you via email. Also, thanks for emailing the link to the travel clinic in Thailand. It is AMAZING how much lower cost the vaccines are!

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