It’s around 20 days until we go to Thailand now, so we tried to book in to get our travel vaccinations. We called our GP, local travel clinics etc and the earliest appointments we could get were for the 16th January with the GP or a Superdrug Travel Clinic which we managed to get an appointment for today.

We decided to go for the travel clinic, having vaccinations on the 16th January would be cutting it a bit fine. The nurse was extremely informative explaining what viruses and illnesses are more prevalent and that we would be most at risk for in Thailand and based on what we planned on doing. We are planning to do a lot of jungle trekking and going off the beaten track a bit so unfortunately a lot of the things they would usually just mention became more of a recommendation.

The main ones that we had to go for really were Hepatitis A, Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio and Typhoid. These inoculations are actually provided free by the NHS, however us not being able to make our GP appointment means that this wasn’t an option open to us sadly.

You may be able to get these vaccinations at travel clinics much cheaper, I don’t know. Unfortunately as we didn’t give ourselves enough time to shop around these were the prices we had to pay:

Hepatitis A

£49 (NHS free)
– Viral infection of the liver. Spread via contaminated food and water from human to human.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio


£32 (NHS free)
– Diphtheria: Respiratory tract infection caused by a toxin. Spread by droplet infection.
– Tetanus: Disease caused by a toxin that is present in soil spores. Spread via wound contamination.
– Polio: Acute enteroviral infection caused by a virus. Spread via contaminated food and water.

Typhoid
£30 (NHS free)
– Illness caused by a bacterium. Spread via contaminated food and water

The other vaccinations were recommended to because we are going to be doing jungle trekking, going to animal sanctuaries etc, so they won’t necessarily be useful for you if you plan on sticking to hotels and big cities. These are not available on the NHS.

Hepatitis B


£40/vaccination (course of 3)
– Viral infection of the liver. Spread human to human via body fluids.

Japanese Encephalitis £89/vaccination (course of 2)
– Infection affecting the central nervous system (CNS). Spread via night time biting mosquitos in rural areas, particularly rice fields, paddy fields and marshlands.

Rabies


£70/vaccination (course of 3)
– Caused by a virus that affects the CNS. Spread via saliva from an infected mammal – dogs, monkeys, bats, cats.

Wow.. So in total a cost of £549… OUCH. SUPER OUCH. (Thank god for credit cards…). Some people may be of the opinion that we are being over-cautious, but I’m of the opinion that It’s all about the prevention, not the cure. I don’t want my holiday or post-holiday ruined by illnesses that could have been prevented. Our health is so important. Of course it’s not a guarantee we won’t get some other mosquito-spread disease like Zika, Malaria or Dengue Fever, but there are other preventative measures we can take to minimise that risk too.

I do wish we had looked into this sooner as We could have at least saved £111 by going through the NHS for some of them, however at least we are now covered. Some will cover us for the next 5-10 years and if you get a booster for Hep A after 6-12 months you are covered for 25 years! With my plans to travel more I believe it was a good investment.. I just can’t get over how much it was!

So today we had 5 vaccinations in total. Next week we need to go back to get the second course of the vaccinations. The nurse did a couple in the right arm and 3 in the left, they weren’t painful but you can feel the needle going in and now that it’s been done my arms ache! Apparently tomorrow we’re going to feel a bit crappy and under the weather. On the plus side.. It’s kind of a bit like our holiday has started a bit…WOOP!! Bring on Thailand t – 21 days 😀

TL;DR
Injections are expensive, especially if you don’t get them on the NHS. Not all the vaccines are available for free though. Get a GP appointment at least 2 months in advance of travel to save yourself some money and hassle and to get some Info!

Kieron getting ready to have his jabs

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