A colleague I admire recently did a spot on re-enactment of Seinfeld’s car rental reservation bit. So I had Seinfeld on the mind when I called the Public Health Travel Clinic. I had first consulted the CDC’s website to determine immunization recommendations. If you at all wary about international travel, the CDC website is sure to keep you grounded. I expected the need to vaccinate against malaria but Japanese encephalitis? What is that? It conjures John Hurt in The Elephant Man movie exclaiming “I…am…not…an animal. I…am human!”
The state Public Health Travel Clinic provides an assessment of what immunizations are needed and then provides the shots. Easy, right? I call.
PHTC: “I just need to let you know that there’s a $120 charge for the assessment.”
Me: Oh, ok, makes sense, the government needs to cover their costs. So I explain that I’ll be bringing my husband and two kids.
PHTC: “Ok, so we’ll make four appointments and it will be $120 per family member.”
Me: “Hmmm, we really only need one assessment – there’s four of us and we’re all going to the same places.”
PHTC: “Yes, I understand but we do an assessment for each person.”
ME: “Hmmm. But wouldn’t the assessment be the same for the four of us?”
PHTC: “As I said, each assessment must be a separate appointment and each appointment costs $120.”
ME: “Ok, well we really only need one assessment, so once I have that assessment, can my family get their shots?”
PHTC: “You can only get shots if you each have had an assessment.”
Understand these shots will cost mucho dinero anyway so to pile on a $480 for four identical assessments just seems wrong.
Aug 17 immunization update: Kroger pharmacies have a travel clinic. In the Seattle area, the Kroger brand is QFC. Yushi Li is one of the two travel clinic specialists in the Seattle area. She met us at our local QFC for the initial consultation and follow up visits for the vaccines. I can’t say enough good things about this service — Yushi was extremely thorough, she came to our neighborhood & the cost was a FRACTION of the other local travel clinic options. Definitely use this resource: http://www.qfc.com/pharmacy/Pages/travel_info.aspx.
BTW, Julia did her 1st grade science fair project on which band-aid was the best value for the money, so no assessment needed on which to use post-shots…tough strips!