T-72: Wanting to stay alive is expensive (what we learnt from vaccinations)

T-72: Wanting to stay alive is expensive (what we learnt from vaccinations)

Well, we’re now at a point where everyone who needs to know now knows about us going travelling. Which is a relief, because now there’s no concerns of saying we’re going away. No pressure, no “did I just say something I shouldn’t have?” thoughts anymore.

While thats all good, we now have to turn our attention to vaccinations. As it turns out, vaccinations are expensive. It wouldn’t be so bad if we weren’t travelling in the countryside and in the rainy season. But we are. So boo.

We used various sources to come up with a list of what we need. NHS Travel VaccinationsNHS Fit-for-travel site (which has detailed information about each country) and Boots, which has a tool to list everything you need. Here is our list, and their respective prices from Boots:

  • Cholera (£55.80)
  • Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus combined (£32)
  • Hepatitis A (£50)
  • Hepatitis B (£268)
  • Japanese encephalitis (£178)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (already protected via the MMR jab)
  • Rabies (£165)
  • Tuberculosis (already protected via the BCG jab)
  • Typhoid (£30)

We would also need to consider Malaria. Claire also did some research into Malaria tablets, which come to a cost of £82. This is for our time in Laos and Cambodia, where we will be deep in the countryside in rainy season. A big list, which puts the total at £860.80. Ouch. But there are some savings to be made. Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and Cholera are all free on the NHS. Hepatitis B is also free if you combine it with Hepatitis A. This brings it down to £343 – much better!

But then this is where it starts getting complex again (because its been so simple up to this point!) We now have to consider when we are actually going to have our vaccinations because they take time to kick in, or we need time between our jabs. Hepatitis B is a course of 3 jabs, for example.

Thanks to delays in getting an appointment with the NHS, it looks like we’re going to have to get some through Boots, and the rest through NHS. We need to have our first jab of Hepatitis B before our NHS appointment, so we’re going to try and get the first one through Boots, and the rest on the NHS. We’ll let you know if this is successful or not! This brings the total up to around £545 for us. 

Lots to consider with vaccinations, and while its expensive, I’m quite keen on staying alive!

Other notes

Cambodia Maleria Map

NHS Fit for travel has many Malaria maps on its site – its particularly useful for finding out when you’ll need to get some tablets. E.g. in this map of Cambodia, you can see where there are high and low risk areas. Handy when you are trying to figure out how long you will need to take Malaria prevention tablets.

Along the lines of Malaria, Melodrome is the best for it, but it is also one of the most expensive. After talking to someone in Boots, something like Malarone is the same stuff, but off brand. The key is to look for Atovaquone/Proguanil hydrochloride, which is the active ingredient. We can save some money this way.

And finally, bear in mind it can take some time to get this stuff sorted out, especially waiting for appointments. We were told to go to the doctors about 2 months before travelling. We went 3 months before, and even then it looks like we might not get in on time. If you plan on going travelling like us, it might be worthwhile getting the vaccinations done sooner rather than later. They last for years, so its not like they will run out before you go!

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