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Old Mar 9, 12, 3:11 pm   #1
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Low-cost yellow fever vaccine in the USA?

I'm travelling to Victoria Falls with my family and, because we will be visiting the Zambian side of the falls and later travelling to South Africa, it appears that we need a yellow fever vaccination card (it's crazy that you need the certificate if you're visiting one side of town but not the other, but that appears to be the rule).

Unfortunately, because this vaccination is rare in the USA -- and not covered by insurance because it is "elective" -- the expense is considerable. For my family of 5, I'm looking at about $600 at a private clinic. (Quite an expense for a medically-unnecessary jab!).

Anyone ever get this vaccination cheaper in the USA? From surfing the internet, it appears that some counties maintain health clinics where the cost may be lower. I plan to make some phone calls to find out. I assume all private clinics will charge about the same.

Thanks.
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Old Mar 9, 12, 3:23 pm   #2
 
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too bad you didnt get it when you were in CR , I think the cost was something like 20 dollars (we needed this not for going to, but for returning from Brazil, CR has that requirement)
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Old Mar 9, 12, 3:29 pm   #3
 
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Can't you get it in SA? Some airports have health clinics as well.
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Old Mar 9, 12, 3:39 pm   #4
 
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Try your local Department of Public Health.
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Old Mar 9, 12, 3:46 pm   #5
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Try your county health department or health care agency. Ours offers a low-cost travel medicine clinic (for county residents only) that runs about 30%-80% less per shot (depending on which immunization) than someplace like CVS (which is already pretty reasonably priced).

A yellow fever immunization costs about $85 per shot, plus a $30 fee per visit per patient. Getting all needed shots at one visit obviously makes this an even better deal, so if yours has a visit-fee, consider getting a Hep-A (if not already done) and see if your kids are due for other regular immunizations (meningitis, pertussis booster, etc.)

I know that's not a lot cheaper than your quote, but there's a very good chance the health department in your county will charge a lot less than mine does, since this is one of the highest cost-of-living areas in the USA.

Last edited by aBroadAbroad; Mar 9, 12 at 7:21 pm. Reason: sp.
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Old Mar 9, 12, 3:58 pm   #6
 
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That last post is correct. I got my Yellow Fever vaccination from a county health clinic for a very reasonable price. Of course, not every health clinic has the Yellow Fever vaccinations, so you will need to check around.
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Old Mar 9, 12, 6:48 pm   #7
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we have used the county facility also....you dont have to be on medicaid...

they knew what we needed for the countries we were going to....
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Old Mar 9, 12, 7:49 pm   #8
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Originally Posted by clacko View Post
we have used the county facility also....you dont have to be on medicaid...

they knew what we needed for the countries we were going to....
Yeah, that sounds like the way to go. I guess I'll have to call all my nearby county health depts and see who has it at a good price. Odd that county health clinics have yellow fever vaccine (why?), but I'll be grateful to save the money on 5.

We'll be visiting the Galapagos before then and I understand the yellow fever vaccination is cheap in Ecuador, but it seems improbable that I could get it in the Galapagos (I assume the medical clinic is small there). I'll be making cameo appearances in GYE and QIO, but unless they have visiting docs who can jab us in a hotel room, I don't know how I could get the shots there. It also seems a little freaky to get shots in developing countries from doctors you don't know.

Meanwhile, does anyone have any strategies for getting cheap malaria meds? No insurance coverage for that, either.
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Old Mar 9, 12, 8:41 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Yeah, that sounds like the way to go. I guess I'll have to call all my nearby county health depts and see who has it at a good price. Odd that county health clinics have yellow fever vaccine (why?), but I'll be grateful to save the money on 5.

We'll be visiting the Galapagos before then and I understand the yellow fever vaccination is cheap in Ecuador, but it seems improbable that I could get it in the Galapagos (I assume the medical clinic is small there). I'll be making cameo appearances in GYE and QIO, but unless they have visiting docs who can jab us in a hotel room, I don't know how I could get the shots there. It also seems a little freaky to get shots in developing countries from doctors you don't know.

Meanwhile, does anyone have any strategies for getting cheap malaria meds? No insurance coverage for that, either.

I seem to recall getting mine from a private practice infectious disease doctor and he said it was provided by the county for a very reasonable price.
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Old Mar 10, 12, 4:00 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
I'll be making cameo appearances in GYE and QIO, but unless they have visiting docs who can jab us in a hotel room, I don't know how I could get the shots there. .

Dont know about Ecuador but in CR I simply went to my grocery store (who has a pharmacy in it) and I got right then and there, in other words, drugstores will probably have it.

The sequence I got it in here was , I got the shot there, then they gave me a slip that had to be taken to the Ministry of Health and THERE I got the official vaccination card.

It seems that US ones look like this http://www.brazilconsulatechicago.or...ow%20Fever.gif
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Old Mar 10, 12, 7:59 am   #11
 
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Yellow fever

It was a year and a half ago but when I went to the travel clinic I was told I did not need the shot. I was prescribed malaria pills though. I traveled to VF, Zambia, South Africa plus some other countries in the area and was never questioned. I went with a Canadian and she however, did require the shot according to their travel clinic. She got pretty ill from it for a day.

Just went to the same US clinic first mentioned for an upcoming trip to the Amazon area and I was required to get a yellow fever. Cost was $211 with the doctor consultation. Malaria prescription was covered by insurance.

Maybe requirements have been changed for the yellow fever Africa shot since my trip. Have you actually called a clinic?
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Old Mar 10, 12, 10:28 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouiseMc View Post
Maybe requirements have been changed for the yellow fever Africa shot since my trip.
It is a requirement that South Africa has for entry:

[KVS Availability Tool 6.9.6/Diamond - TIMATIC: Country Information: Health]
Code:
South Africa (ZA)

Vaccination against yellow fever is required if arriving
within 10 days from Zambia or countries with risk of yellow
fever transmission [[TIRGL/YFIN]].

 Exempt from Yellow Fever vaccination:
- Transit passengers not leaving the airport in South Africa. 
- Those not leaving the plane during transit in the
  infected/endemic countries concerned or Zambia.
- Those holding an exception certificate due to medical
  reasons may be allowed entry and will be required to report
  any fever or other symptoms to the health authorities and be
  placed under surveillance.
- Babies under 12 months are allowed to travel without a
  yellow fever vaccination certificate, provided a medical
  certificate can be submitted stating that it is undesirable
  to inoculate the baby. 

 Warning:
- Persons without an original yellow fever certificate (if
  required) will be:
  - refused entry; or
  - kept in quarantine until certificate becomes valid or for
  a period of not more than six days; or
  - those with an exemption certificate due to medical reasons
  may be allowed entry and required to report any fever or
  other symptoms to the health authorities and be placed under
  surveillance. 

 Recommended:
- Malaria prophylaxis. Malaria risk - mainly in the malignant
  (P. falciparum) form - exists throughout the year in the low
  altitude areas of Mpumalanga Province (including the Kruger
  National Park), Northern Province and north-eastern
  Kwazulu/Natal as far south as the Tugela river. Risk is
  highest from October to May. Resistance to chloroquine and
  sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine reported. Recommended prevention
  in risk areas: IV

CHECK [[TINEWS/N1]] - ALBANIA: ALBANIAN PASSPORTS

10 Mar 2012 / 17:26 [UTC]
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Old Mar 10, 12, 11:01 am   #13
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There are travel medical clinics located in or near major airports. Have you checked for one near you? Try also at any nearby medical schools. If someone is a college student, their health clinic probably offers subsidized shots for travel.
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Old Mar 10, 12, 11:28 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Unfortunately, because this vaccination is rare in the USA -- and not covered by insurance because it is "elective" -- the expense is considerable.
It is too bad that your insurance will not cover it. I guess it does not have a preventative benefit. Mine does, so vaccinations get treated like physicals and such in terms of coverage.
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Old Mar 10, 12, 11:36 am   #15
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ours has a preventative benefit too

but only for diseases you are at risk for in the US - it exempts vaccines for travel purposes.
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