Getting Travel Vaccinations in Bangkok

Before we left the UK we went to an NHS travel clinic to get vaccinations. We were very fortunate that we were able to get most of our jabs on the NHS, but there were a couple that we'd have to get privately. I looked into the prices at private travel clinics (£90 for Japanese Encephalitis vaccine!) and had a rethink.. Maybe we should just risk it? We certainly hadn't budgeted for these expensive vaccinations...

But I thought it over carefully and had a sudden brainwave! The reason these vaccinations are so expensive here in the UK is because these diseases aren't endemic here. The demand for these vaccines isn't very high, and that would surely drive up the cost. I did some research and there's a national vaccination program for Japanese Encephalitis in Thailand, meaning the vaccine is widely available and at a cheaper price too. I did some more research and found a couple of blogs about other travellers who'd had the same idea and had shared their tips about getting vaccinations in Bangkok. So we followed their advice (thanks guys!) and managed to get the vaccinations we needed easily and cheaply.

There are several English-speaking travel clinics where you can obtain travel vaccinations in Bangkok. We had a look at the Thai Travel Clinic (at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Mahidol University) and the Immunisation and Travel Clinic at the Thai Red Cross Society (at the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute). We opted for the latter as you don't need to book an appointment, unlike the Thai Travel Clinic, where you must book at least 10 hours in advance.

We decided to walk to the clinic from Siam BTS station, as we were staying in a place on the Sukhumvit line. From Siam it's a half-hour walk, but the nearest BTS station to the clinic is Sala Daeng on the Silom line. There are many different Red Cross buildings so we got a bit lost at first. The building you need is the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, which is a large building with big fountains at the entrance.

We walked in and the woman at the information desk told us to fill out a form, take a queue card and take it to register in room 1. There were lots of questions on the form about previous immunisations (which we weren't sure about!) so we just put crosses in the 'not sure' box, and that seemed fine. Luckily, we'd brought our passports- you need to write your passport number on the form and also show your passport at the registration desk.

We waited to go into room 1 to register but saw others just walking straight in (turns out there is no need to wait!). The woman on the desk took our form, queue card and our passports, and we had to pay 20 Baht each to register. She asked us which vaccinations we'd like. We were given some paperwork which we had to hand to the doctor in the next room.

Then we were called into the next room where we had a health check (temperature and blood pressure, very quick!) and the doctor confirmed which vaccinations we were to have. We decided to have Japanese Encephalitis as we'll be travelling in Asia for a while and might go into rural areas with rice paddies (where the risk of JE is higher than urban areas with no rice paddies!). We decided not to have rabies vaccinations in the end, as we didn't have enough time left in Bangkok to have a full course. We were given a prescription note for our vaccines but had to wait until after 1.00pm to get the vaccination, as the pharmacy was closing for lunch! So we went to have lunch ourselves in a nearby mall...

We went back at 1.00pm sharp and went straight to room 4 to hand in our prescription note. Then we had to go to the pharmacy (room 5) to get our vaccine prescription. It cost 450 Baht plus a 50 Baht doctor's consultancy fee per person. 1000 Baht for two vaccinations is very reasonable (only £23.50 at the current exchange rate). We carried our basket complete with purchased vaccine back to room 4 where a nurse could administer it for us. It was completely painless and very easy! Everyone spoke English at the clinic, which made everything very straight forward.

We then went to have lunch at the Unicorn Cafe, which was a 20 minute walk away. The perfect treat after a vaccination!

We would definitely recommend saving £s and having vaccinations in Bangkok. The Thai Red Cross has every vaccine you might need for travelling and provides free certification too. We were pleased we got a little red book with our vaccinations stamped in it! We'll use it to record all of our vaccinations from now on.

Have you ever had travel vaccinations abroad?
Let us know your experiences in the comments!

Want to see more?
Check out the video of us getting the vaccinations below!


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