Updated: Sep 24, 2022
Yikes! That stung! Both the shots in the arm and the price. We just dropped $2000 in one day for a round of shots and we're not even done. Knowing that we will be traveling to many countries which have illnesses that can be prevented through vaccinations, we decided to have a consultation to learn more about what is available. During the consultation, we went through our likely future sailing route and countries we plan to visit. They were able to print out a report that gave us a list of vaccinations that are recommended or required for us. It was quite a learning session for us. We hadn't done much research before going, but we'd done enough to decide that 1) we should plan for a lead-time of getting shots while we have jobs and 2) talking to someone is going to be more much quicker to get to the answers we're looking for.
Surprisingly, there aren't as many vaccines options as I thought there'd be. Additionally, many of the vaccines aren't available at your Primary Care Physician (PCP) due to low demand and managing expiry dates. Your PCP can refer you to a speciality facility like the one we visited. We were able to get our shots the same day as the consultation. We decided we only wanted to get four immediately and wait on the others until we are closer to our travel dates. The nurse was careful to inform us that we may feel flu-like symptoms for about 48 hours. In a time when Covid-19 is prevalent, this was extremely helpful information. Later that evening, we both felt a little run-down and tired, but overall we felt fine. We were both back to normal the second day. (To note, we had already started our Hep A and Hep B since we knew the lead-times were significantly longer than most vaccines. Therefore, we didn't need to get those from the specialty facility.)
Here's a summary of what we learned.
* Includes cost of all doses of the shot, except for MMR which is the cost for a single shot. The consultation fee was $75/person, although it was discounted $10 if we pre-filled the online questionnaire. It was easy to do and worth the $10/person savings.
As you may discover from the table above, while risk for illnesses, such as Hep A or Hep B, are lower in the United States than many other countries, you are still susceptible to contracting them. I'm not here to argue for or against vaccines, but if you're trying to manage your personal risk levels for avoiding these illnesses, it's important to inform yourself. Most of these illnesses are not minor, temporary irritations that will go away if untreated. Fortunately for many Americans, if infected, many illnesses can likely be treated. However, in my opinion, if you can prevent getting sick and the cost of treatment, the cost of a vaccine seems rather insignificant.
Stay safe and happy travels!
Disclaimer: We have no medical training and the information shown is what we compiled with the limited sources at the time of writing this blog. Any "Unknown" information is unknown to us, but likely readily available, if researched. If you are concerned about contracting an illness, we recommend talking with a medical professional for your specific needs.
The Google Sheets spreadsheet with additional information can be found here:
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