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abouto travel vaccinations

thisispaxtonst

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  • Added on: September 11th, 2005
So I posted this earlier in another forum which turned out to be the wrong one and was sent here.

Hi folks. I'm Mark and this is actually my first post here. I'm starting to plan and save for a trip that I'll be taking in about 2 years. While I have a very vague idea of where I want to go, I have my heart set on being very fluid with it and doing most of the planning on-the-fly. Now here's where the subject of the thread becomes relevant. Two questions about travel vaccinations.

1. Does health insurance usually cover travel vaccinations? I'm still under my dad's insurance until I'm done with college; he works for the state and thus has a pretty good PPO.

2. How far in advance should I start getting vaccinations? I'll be done with school in a year (at least for awhile), and as a result will no longer be under my dad's policy. Is it feasible to get all of my vaccinations before this happens, or should I get them closer to when I leave?

Surely I could find this stuff out on my own, but I figured it was a good way to get into the community, and more efficient (and enjoyable) than dealing with insurance company beaurocracy. Thanks.
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skobb

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  • Added on: September 12th, 2005
I would wager that most health plans in America won't cover full travel vaccinations. You might be able to get boosters and something like tetanus taken care of, but I doubt you'll convince them to vaccinate you for Hepatitis A & B or Typhoid.

I would start seriously looking into vaccinations about six months before you plan on taking off. I think that should plenty of time for about anything. I received the Twinrix vaccine which protects against Hep A&B and I believe it was three doses over the course of about 3 or 4 months. You can do a quicker time table, but the protection doesn't last as long.

I think Japanese Encephalitis also requires a longer schedule. Search the boards though, several of us don't think that the Jap. Encephalitis vaccine is worth the obscene cost.

thisispaxtonst

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  • Added on: September 12th, 2005
Yeah, in regards to Japanese Encephalitis, it seems like a lot of money to pay, especially since the CDC reports 1 case per year among US citizens traveling or living abroad. I'll look into it. Thanks.
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  • Added on: September 12th, 2005
At first I was told that NONE of my shots would be covered. However, when the doctor's office called up about it to confirm, they were then informed that the whole thing was covered... so go figure. Saved me $500+. Doesn't hurt to have the doctor's office ask... and my plan was totally crap.

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Stoo

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  • Added on: September 12th, 2005
quote:
I would start seriously looking into vaccinations about six months before you plan on taking off. I think that should plenty of time for about anything. I received the Twinrix vaccine which protects against Hep A&B and I believe it was three doses over the course of about 3 or 4 months. You can do a quicker time table, but the protection doesn't last as long.

I think Japanese Encephalitis also requires a longer schedule. Search the boards though, several of us don't think that the Jap. Encephalitis vaccine is worth the obscene cost.



Hep A&B: i did three shots in four weeks, and they want me to do a fourth in one years time to give me a full ten years coverage. But they definitely inferred that coming months earlier would have been ‘better’.

Japanese B Encephalitis is controversial. The do not even allow the shots here in Switzerland--apparently the vaccination is potentially dangerous. My GP and jab center doctor advised against it even though I'll be spending lots of time in the rural areas of northern Thailand. My read is 'do not get it', but you should make an informed decision about that after consulting your GP and jab doctors, researching your itinerary, etc. Don't skimp the research and doctor bills…it is your life!
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VisceralTrek

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  • Added on: February 22nd, 2006
Hey OP: I think you'll find that your insurance pays for Hep A, B, Tetnus, Polio etc, BUT you'll have to act like you don't have records and are just getting up to date.

I just found out my insurance DOES pay for those listed above, but you need to have reason to think you've recently been exposed, or you have a weakened immune system and need to have these. If you or your doc says to the insurance that it is for travel, they won't cover any of it!!

Anyway, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Encephailitis, all the other foreign nasties, are NOT covered. Those are very costly! I was trying to find out if foreign clinics had these shots for cheaper than in the US--If anyone knows, please let me know :-)

whalewatcher

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  • Added on: February 23rd, 2006
Not sure about the combined HepAB vaccine, but when I got vaccinated against HepB (for work) it took nine months, with boosters after 3 and 6 months. That was back in '97, so the new vaccination may be more effective and doesn't take so long, but enquire. It won't hurt to get a few of the shots earlier.

WanderingAtty

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  • Added on: February 23rd, 2006
My insurance (a Cigna PPO plan) covered all vaccinations - but not necessary 100% of the cost - but enough to make it worth it.

Most of the expensive ones (Hep, Yellow Fever, etc.) have very long "shelf-lives" so it's worth getting them while you're covered - even if it's very early in terms of your planned trip. The CDC website will tell you how long the innoculations last.

My doctor consulted with a specialist here in LA with lots of Japanese encephalitas (and I know that's spelled wrong) experience, who recommended not getting the innoculation, unless you're working in a clinic or something where exposure is pretty much certain. Apparently the side effects are common and very serious. So I skipped it.

Seaward

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  • Added on: October 5th, 2006
My Travel Doc told me earlier this week that he government in parts of Asia vaccinates all citizens against Jap Enc B... anyone know if there is validity to that and if that means you could be vaccinated cheaply overseas?
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gonorth

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  • Added on: October 6th, 2006
With the health standards being what they are in Asia, I would think your travel doctor is bullshittin you Christine, maybe to get your business.

Like the locals do not even innoculate against Malaria and one of the reasons there is about 2.8M deaths a year from it.

And one of the problems of getting meds in poorer countries is the prevalence of fake medicine.
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Seaward

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  • Added on: October 12th, 2006
quote:
Originally posted by gonorth:
With the health standards being what they are in Asia, I would think your travel doctor is bullshittin you Christine, maybe to get your business.

Like the locals do not even innoculate against Malaria and one of the reasons there is about 2.8M deaths a year from it.

And one of the problems of getting meds in poorer countries is the prevalence of fake medicine.


Well, I'm not totally sure what she said about inocculations overseas, as I'm not so great with details. However, I somewhat doubt she told me anything for the sole purpose of getting my business since the Canadian health system doesn't quite work that way.

She did, however, mention that 32% of medication sold overseas is counterfeit. (Numbers I remember).

Regardless... I think I'm going to opt out of Rabies and Jap Enc B. Though, I haven't quite made up my mind yet.
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bundleWrap

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  • Added on: October 28th, 2006
I don't mean to scare anyone, but even though, the risk of getting Jap Enc B is very small, it still does happen and to Westerners too!!

My friend's father caught this terrible disease while working as an expat in China. The family was living in Shanghai, but the work included a lot of visits to factories in the country side. None of the family members were ever considered being part of the risk group for Jap Enc B (living in rural conditions for long periods), but the father still got the disease. (I don't think he himself even knows how he got it.)

Fortunately, he survived, but with considerable brain damage, rendering it impossible for him to work again. Evidently, the rest of the family of 6 was immunized on the spot and none of them had any side effects.
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