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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Vaccinations > Travel Vaccinations

Travel Vaccinations Cost


How Much Do Travel Vaccinations Cost?

 
low costLow: $30-$100average costMedium: $100-$500high costHigh: $500-$1,000+
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At least four to six weeks before traveling outside of the United States, it is recommended that you visit a doctor or travel clinic to make sure you have had the necessary vaccinations. While the yellow fever vaccination is required for travel to or from certain countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, other vaccinations might be recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depending on where you plan to go, whether you plan to visit rural areas, the season in which you will travel, your age, your health status and which vaccinations you have had previously.

It is recommended that adults be up to date on their routine vaccinations, such as Td (tetanus/diphtheria) and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), before traveling; depending on the circumstances, additional recommended travel vaccinations might include typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, rabies, polio, meningococcal meningitis, Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of travel vaccinations at a travel clinic typically includes an initial consultation fee of $15 to $100, a shot administration fee of $10 to $20 per shot, and the cost of the vaccines, which can range from less than $10 per dose to $150 or more per dose, depending on the disease; some vaccinations require as many as three shots. Travel vaccinations could range from less than $50 for one routine booster shot to $1,000 or more for several vaccinations, especially those that require multiple shots, such as rabies or Japanese Encephalitis. As an example of a travel clinic fee schedule, the Michigan State University Travel Clinic[1] charges consultation fees for non-students ranging from $35 for 15 minutes to $95 for an hour, and shot administration fees of $20 for the first shot and $15 for each additional shot. In general, a typhoid vaccination typically costs $85 to $300 total; a meningococcal meningitis vaccination typically costs $100 to $150 total; a yellow fever vaccination typically costs $150 to $350 total; a Japanese Encephalitis vaccination typically costs $450 to $800 total; and a rabies vaccination typically costs $500 to $1,000 total.
  • Travel vaccinations are not covered by Medicare or many private health insurance plans. According to Passport Health[2] , which operates travel clinics across the United States, many health insurance plans do not cover vaccinations needed for travel because insurers consider them elective. However, some plans do cover travel vaccinations. For example, most of Aetna's[3] traditional plans that include preventive services cover medically necessary travel vaccinations. And some BlueCross BlueShield of Rhode Island plans cover travel vaccinations, but not initial consultations. At forums at FlyerTalk.com[4] , and BootsnAll[5] , travelers discuss health insurance coverage of travel vaccinations.
  • For patients covered by health insurance, typical expenses include a copay of $10 to $40 for the doctor visit and a copay for the vaccination. For example, this BlueCare Direct HMO[6] covers travel vaccinations for a $20 copay.
Related articles: Typhoid Vaccine, Yellow Fever Vaccine, Meningitis Vaccine, Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine, Tetanus Diphtheria Vaccine, Travel Insurance

What should be included:
  • During the initial consultation, a nurse or doctor specializing in travel medicine will ask about your itinerary -- which countries you plan to visit, whether you will be in urban or rural areas, and which activities you have planned. You will be asked to provide your immunization records and/or results of tests for immunity to certain diseases.
  • Based on your answers, the travel health specialist might recommend one or more travel vaccinations. Depending on which vaccinations you will get, and how many shots are needed, you might have to return to the clinic one or more times for the shots.
  • The CDC offers an overview of travel vaccinations[7] and the adult routine immunization schedule[8] .
Additional costs:
  • In addition to vaccinations, travelers might have to take other precautions regarding illnesses that can strike travelers, such as malaria prevention for certain areas. The CDC offers a list of illnesses that can affect travelers[9] . Medications to prevent malaria typically cost $50 to $200.
  • Some shots will provide long-term or lifelong protection, but others require boosters as often as every few years.
Discounts:
  • While it typically is necessary to go to a travel clinic for travel-specific vaccinations, such as yellow fever or typhoid, it can be much less expensive to obtain routine or non-travel-specific vaccinations, such as T/d or Hepatitis A or B, through your own doctor, if your health insurance plan covers them, or through a public clinic or county health department. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[10] offers a public clinic locator by zipcode.
Shopping for travel vaccinations:
  • Before making your appointment, it is a good idea to check on recommendations for the areas you plan to visit. The CDC offers a country-by-country list[11] of health and vaccination guidelines for travelers.
  • The CDC also offers resources to help you find a travel clinic[12] . For vaccination against yellow fever, you must go to a clinic authorized by the U.S. government to administer the vaccine.
  • For immunocompromised travelers or pregnant women, some vaccinations are contraindicated, and a travel delay or change of itinerary might be recommended. The CDC offers a guide for immunocompromised travelers[13] and a guide to travel and vaccination during pregnancy[14] .
  • When planning a trip, it is a good idea to check the CDC's Traveler's Health page for the latest information on vaccinations, current vaccine shortages and disease outbreaks in specific locations.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  travelclinic.msu.edu/apptinfo/costs.html
  2.  www.passporthealthusa.com/locations/sc/south-carolina/?page=site/text&nav_id=92f79...
  3.  www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/400_499/0473.html
  4.  www.flyertalk.com/forum/archive/t-406601.html
  5.  boards.bootsnall.com/abouto-travel-vaccinations-t25714.html
  6.  www.creative-health-insurance.com/AnthemPDFFiles/BlueCareCovRates08.pdf
  7.  wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list
  8.  www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5753-Immunization.pdf
  9.  wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/diseases
  10.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  11.  wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list
  12.  wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/find-clinic
  13.  wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2012/chapter-8-advising-travelers-with-specific-ne...
  14.  wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2012/chapter-8-advising-travelers-with-specific-ne...
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