28 Jan Travel Vaccinations
do you or do you not get them? This is a fairly common question that many long term travelers ask. This is a decision that you will have to make, but we decided on getting them before setting out on our journey. However, we also decided to wait until we were in Germany before getting all of them and this was based on cost. This article will mostly apply to the American traveler because for some reason, immunizations in the U.S. are ridiculously expensive when compared to other countries.
that you decide to get will depend on your travel location and what type of traveling you expect to do. If you are mostly traveling from major city to major city and staying in hotels, then you will probably not want to get the pre-exposure rabies vaccine. However, if your travel plans include being in remote areas, wild camping, or cave spelunking, then the rabies pre-vaccination is something to consider. If you are not heading to southeast Asia, then getting the Japanese encephalitis vaccine is not something to concern yourself with, but if you plan on spending time in Europe, you may want to consider getting the FSME vaccine.
as we mentioned above varies dramatically from the U.S. and Germany. For example, the cost of getting the rabies from Passport Health was going to cost us almost $1000 (US)* each for the 3 shot series; whereas, here in Germany we paid 190 Euro (approximately $245)* each for all three shots. (*Doctor fees included)
Here is the cost breakdown of the vaccinations between the U.S. and Germany:
*Notes: Doctor fees in the US vary depending on where you go. Passport Health wanted an initial consultation fee, plus $50 per visit, per person. Our local health department wanted a one time consultation fee; however, they did not have all the required shots, so in the end we would have ended up going to Passport Health. In Germany, we paid a total of 35 Euros per person to get the following vaccines administered: Hep A, Typhoid, Rabies, & FSME. At the time of this writing we have not received the Japanese Encephalitis or Yellow Fever vaccines.
How and where..
you decide to get your travel vaccinations is a personal choice. However, if you should decide to get them while in Germany, it is as easy as contacting a local doctor in the town you are visiting. Do not stress over the language barrier because you will discover that English is very common here. The prices we listed above, with the exception of the FSME, are the same regardless if you have insurance or not. The FSME is covered by some insurances if you are in an area that is known to be a risk area, but this will depend on your insurance.