In preparation for our upcoming voyage to the Pantanal next week we just found out we needed yellow fever vaccinations. Yes, we probably should have known that but I guess since its not exactly the Amazon I didn't think to research. Anyways my mother in law is coming down for a few weeks and we are all going to these beautiful wetlands for the big 4 day holiday around the corner. With a yellow fever vac, you need 10 days for it to settle in before you might need its all mighty medical powers so basically today was the last day I could get it done. So here is a little story about how my mother in law and I both received our vaccine, hers in Chicago and mine in Sao Paulo.
MIL: Finding out at the last minute before her trip, frantically she calls the doctor to get an appointment. Luckily they had one available the next day. She goes in, waits over an hour to see the nurse, finally gets into the little patient room, chats with the nurse (probably hitting the two hour mark here) and is informed that not only does she need the yellow fever vaccine but she also needs malaria pills. The nurse had over 50 pages of diseases and problems that could occur and basically asked her, you sure you want to go? Um was there a choice? She finally receives the shot and a prescription for the pills. When she goes to check out she finds out insurance doesn't cover this and has to pay over 400$ for both the vaccine and the pills (which mind you according to travel websites you really don't need malaria pills but you know how over the top better safe than sorry american doctors are). She's now very upset at both the cost and the now half day spent at the doctors office.
Me: I inquired about where to get a vaccine on a newcomers facebook page, immediately was given a very helpful website found here to locate your 'vaccine posto' nearest to your neighborhood. Nervous it could take all day I took a cab over and was embarrassed at how close it was to where I live. 8R later I walked into a big building with a blue sign that read VACINAÇÃO and found a room much like the DMV. There was a man by the ticket dispenser (to receive a number and wait) and clearly his job was to dispense tickets from the already automatic machine and answer questions. He told me I didn't need a ticket (ohh how nice) and that I should go down a hallway to a room on the right. Inside sat two nurses at a table and no one else. I told them I needed a yellow fever shot and they asked if I had a passport number or RJ (resident card) which I had neither with me. They mulled it over for a min then decided that was ok and I just gave them my name and address. Literally 2 seconds later the nice little nurse sat me on a chair, whipped out a shot, administered it and gave me some instructions that I gave a smile nod to even though I had no idea what she was saying. I asked how much? They smiled and waved me off and said "free." Within 10 minutes I was saying thank you to mr. ticket dispenser and out the door I went.
The first thought that came to mind... Ohh, thats braziliant*!! (happy dance)