Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Cost

Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff

The Japanese Encephalitis vaccination is often recommended for travelers who plan on living or staying longer than 30 days during the Japanese Encephalitis season, present in rural parts of Asia.

This vaccine will protect against the viral disease, which is transmitted via the mosquitoes found inside of the rice paddies.  While most cases are considered to be asymptomatic, less than one percent contract the disease, according to the CDC.

A serious infection caused by a virus present in parts of Asia, the  Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) can be spread among mosquitoes and other animals such as birds and pigs.  If an infected mosquito were to bite a human, it could then lead to either an infection and/or illness.

Japanese encephalitis vaccine cost

The cost of the Japanese encephalitis vaccine will depend on your insurance coverage, the clinic you choose and how they bill.  From what we researched, the vaccine is more than just the vaccine as some clinics will charge a consultation fee, as well as appointment fees since a series of two shots, administered four weeks apart. In total, plan on budgeting $100 per dose or about $300 in total when factoring in the office visit fee if necessary.

As the Japanese encephalitis vaccine is considered to be a travel vaccine, most health insurance policies, unless otherwise indicated, will consider it as an elective vaccine and will not cover it, meaning you will have to more than likely pay out of pocket.  However, as stated, some insurance policies will cover this type of vaccine, but to be for certain, talk with your insurance provider to know your coverage as all policies will greatly vary.

According to one member on this LonelyPlanet.com forum thread, for instance, he paid $200 after his health insurance policy kicked in.

What’s included in the fee?

Before the shot is administered, most clinics/doctor offices will offer a consultation, asking you when you plan on traveling, where you plan on traveling and what you specifically plan on doing.  Based on these answers, then the vaccine will either be recommended or advised you should probably skip it as the season is limited.

If you are a candidate for the vaccine, then the vaccination, as part of a two-part series, will be administered the first day, followed by a second shot four weeks later.  The injection, as with most vaccine, will be made in the upper arm area.

After the 30 days, immunity can last up to two the three years and is known to be 99 percent effective against the disease.

Who should get the vaccination?

Adults who plan on living or traveling to rural Asia where the virus is known to be active.  The vaccine, though, can be administered to anyone older than two months.

Those who remain at risk of exposure, even a year after the first vaccination was administered.

Any laboratory workers who may have been exposed to the virus.

Tips to know

Most people who become infected often do not see symptoms, but for some, they may experience a minor headache and/or fever.  The most common symptom, as the vaccine name implies, is encephalitis, which is the swelling of the breath.  For those who have a severe encephalitis infection, 25 percent of the cases resulted in death.

Side effects, according to Walgreens, may include soreness at the vaccination site and/or headaches or muscle aches.  Serious and rarer side effects can include a high-grade fever, difficulty breathing, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, dizziness and/or hives.  If you experience any of these side effects, seek medical attention immediately.

If your health insurance doesn’t cover the vaccinations, try your local health department as this tends to be the cheapest option.

Plan ahead of time.  As the vaccination needs to be administered over a four week period, it’s best to get the vaccination at least two months before you plan on traveling.

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