We got the majority of our vaccinations in the USA. However, two of the recommended vaccinations – the rabies pre-exposure shots and the Japanese encephalitis vaccine – were very expensive in the USA. I’m talking EXPENSIVE – $1,775 total for just these 2 vaccines! And that isn’t including the hundreds of dollars we spent on other vaccines. So… the solution? Get them done in Asia!
And of course, prime selfie moment outside the Hospital for Topical Diseases in Bangkok Thailand!
Disclaimer: This blog post does not give you any medical advice, and we are not recommending specific vaccinations for your trip. You need to speak with a travel clinic or other medical professional about your trip to know which vaccinations meet your specific needs. We are simply offering up an alternative to getting your shots in the USA or your home country if they are very expensive :) Additionally, all prices in this post are for 1 person and in USD.
The rabies pre-exposure shots cost $1,035 in the USA. Getting these shots does not mean that you won’t need more shots if you get bitten by an animal with rabies. I think you need less and it isn’t as urgent? Or something like that. Consult a medical professional. It’s recommended that you get the pre-exposure shots if you’ll be near any animals. Well, there are hundreds of stray cats and dogs in most of the countries we’ve visited. And we like to give them all little love pats! Plus, you just never know if they will run after you and attack (Sara has already been bitten (albeit playfully) but a puppy in Myanmar).
The Japanese encephalitis vaccine costs $740 in the USA. This vaccination is recommended if you are going to be in certain Asian countries for more than 30 days (again, please consult a professional – don’t take my word for it).
Instead of getting these two vaccinations in the USA, we waited until we were in Asia.
The rabies pre-exposure shots require you to get a series of 3 shots. You need the first one at Day 1, the second one at Day 7, and the third one either at Day 21 or Day 28. So you’ll need to make sure you are in cities with reliable (and good) medical / travel clinics on these specific days. We got our first one done in Bangkok, Thailand at Thai Travel Clinic (in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases); our second one done on Kata Beach in Phuket, Thailand at BeCare Medical Clinic; and our third one done in Hanoi, Vietnam at Raffles Medical Clinic.
The Japanese encephalitis vaccination is a series of 2 shots in the USA, but it’s only 1 shot in Thailand. We got ours done at in Bangkok, Thailand at the same clinic as above, Thai Travel Clinic.
Each time we went to a new clinic, we had to pay some additional fees, but even with those, the total cost of the 3 rabies pre-exposure shots and the 1 Japanese encephalitis vaccination was $134.28. That is less than 8% of what it would have cost to get it done in the USA. You read that correctly – 8%!!!
You can look up the prices on some of the websites (for example, the Bangkok Thai Travel Clinic’s prices are on their website here), but this was our price breakdown:
Thai Travel Clinic in Bangkok, Thailand: $35.10
BeCare Medical Clinic in Phuket, Thailand: $47.60
Raffles Medical Clinic in Hanoi, Vietnam: $51.58
Let us know if you have any questions – we are happy to help or give any more information that we may have missed. Good luck, and happy travels!
Sara & Colin
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