Monday, August 19, 2013

travel vaccinations at the red cross clinic in bangkok

We had decided to get our vaccinations in Bangkok because of how much cheaper they were than in the US. So the second day (first full day) we were there we headed over to the Red Cross Hospital on Rama IV road (by the Snake Farm) to get ourselves vaccinated. We had heard that no cabbies knew where it was so we had to say we wanted to go to the Snake Farm, that turns out to be on the hospitals premises, and even then it took talking to a few cabbies to find one who knew where that was (and even that involved trying to mime "snakes" so the cabbies would know what we were talking about).

Once we found our way there it started to sink in that we were going to a hospital in a foreign country where the language was totally different than English. We had heard from the internet that this Red Cross spoke pretty good English, which was partially true. Not everyone did, but luckily the doctor who ran us through what exactly they were injecting us with, was fairly good and there was a big sign with all the possible vaccinations in English that he pointed to quite often (all with a big smile on his face--the doctor was about 85 years old and very friendly!). So we were 95% sure we were getting the right vaccinations. All and all, it was actually a pretty painless experience. The nurses were really nice and carefully with all their poking (we could hardly feel the shots, which we would never have said for shots in the US!). Andrew got four vaccinations and the nurse looked at him and said, "So many!" Which wasn't very comforting, but it went all right.

All in all, we saved thousands of dollars getting shots here. Particularly for the more exotic shots (Japanese Encephalitis, rabies), our US insurance counted them as "elective," so would not pay for them. Just a series of rabies shots alone (it takes three shots) would have cost each of us over $1000 in the US, and here, we're each paying about $30 for the set of three. We know it seems kind of crazy to get our vaccinations in one of the foreign countries where we could contract the diseases, but Thailand is known for its medical care, and (knock on wood) we've had no ill effects so far besides some sore arms. 

Left: The only sign in the first room we went into              Right: Andrew recuperating after his "so many" shots.

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