Along with insurance, travel jabs can be chalked up as a waste of money. Until you get bitten by a rabid monkey or thrown off a mountain. Then travel vaccinations for southeast asia are the best money you’ll ever spend.
Craig and I both had our full complement of childhood and teenage jabs (thanks, awesome parents and NHS!). We also went to India in 2012, so were up to date with the free travel jabs available on the NHS. Nevertheless, we started with a trip to the travel clinic at our local Doctors, where they checked our vaccinations record and confirmed we were fully up to date, so it is a good starting point if you are remotely unsure on what you need before committing to a private travel clinic.
Additional recommended vaccinations for us for South East Asia were Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies, plus malaria tablets and (for Craig) Hepatitis B. There is some debate within the backpacking community about whether any of these are really that much of a risk for transient visitors (Encephalitis, for example, is really only an issue in rural areas with pigs and wading birds, and rabies of course results from bites) or whether preventative measures would be sufficient. Anyone going overseas clearly has to make their own choice here, but we both felt getting the full complement of vaccinations was the right thing for us, for the following reasons:
1. We are the mozzie equivalent of an all you can eat Vegas buffet. They LOVE us and so, while we will take the usual preventative measures with DEET and nets when appropriate, this just adds a final layer of protection in the event that Evil Rogue Mozzie finds us.
2. Prevention is all well and good, but the rabid dogs may not have got the memo that we are trying to avoid them. While we plan to take sensible preventative measures, both rabies and severe Encephalitis are awful diseases and, without vaccines, virtually guarantee a painful and unpleasant death. The vaccines will allow us to enjoy our trip without worrying if an area is unsafe for us.
3. By getting vaccinated, we are doing our own (small bit) to prevent further spread of some truly horrible diseases. We certainly won’t cure Japanese Encephalitis by getting our jabs, but it would feel fairly irresponsible to go to a country and play any part in spreading a vaccine-preventable disease.
Costs of our travel vaccinations for southeast asia
There is no way of getting round it, travel vaccinations for southeast asia are expensive and should absolutely have their own little section of any pre-travel budget. Whilst the cost may seem high, what price would you pay from a hospital bed not to be there?
For vaccinations only available privately, we consulted eight different travel clinics and pharmacies in London. The prices vary fairly widely, by up to £50 for a full set of Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies jabs. Prices are usually easily available on websites, so it is definitely an hour well spent doing a bit of research before making an appointment.
Katie (via Travel Vaccination Clinic who are based in Soho) paid:
Craig (via BMI Healthcare in Brentford) paid:
Expensive? Yes. Worth every penny? Absolutely.