The childhood vaccination programme in the UK helps to give protection from a number of diseases, but if you are travelling to other parts of the world, including Europe, you may need additional travel vaccinations and anti-malarials to protect your health while abroad.
As well as protecting yourself for health reasons, vaccinations may also be required so that you can travel freely. If you visit a country with risk of yellow fever, such as Central and South America, you will be restricted entry to certain other countries if you haven’t obtained a certificate to prove you have been immunised prior to travel.
A visit to a travel clinic will help you to understand how you can reduce your risk of disease while abroad and provide you with those all-important vaccinations.
How can I find out which travel vaccinations I will need?
It is always useful to check which vaccinations you may need before you visit a travel clinic, to give you more of an idea of the cost involved in preparing for your holiday and the time frames required.
The NHS has a website dedicated to travel vaccination information, Fit for Travel, where you will be able to see recommendations and advice. As the travel vaccinations required largely depends on the area that you are visiting, the Fit for Travel site is conveniently centred around destinations. Your GP or nurse will also be able to advise the best options for you based upon your record as some vaccinations generally advised for the area you are visiting may or may not always be as relevant to the type of holiday you have planned.
Some of the most common vaccinations include Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio and Cholera as these protect against diseases that pose the greatest risk to public health if brought into the UK. It is important to note that not all common vaccinations you may require will be available on the NHS.
The important things to consider
When determining which vaccinations you need for your holiday, in addition to the region being visited, there are other aspects that must be considered.
You are at increased risk of infection if…
You are travelling for a prolonged period of time
You will be travelling to remote, lesser-known areas
You have pre-existing health issues
You will be in contact with animals
Other factors that need to be considered…
How old you are
The activities you’ll be doing
The time of year
If you are pregnant or not
With these considerations in mind, it is most helpful for your GP or nurse to advise the best options for you if you already have a good idea of what you will be doing on holiday before your consultation.
Is everyone eligible for travel vaccines?
Not everyone will be suitable for certain vaccines. If you have an immune deficiency like HIV or AIDS, for example, it may not be advised, as well as if you have recently received chemotherapy treatment or undertaken an organ or bone marrow transplant.
Travel vaccinations could have an impact on a child if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, so typically, immunisations will not be given in these cases.
A consultation with your GP or nurse will be able to confirm your eligibility for vaccinations.
How soon should I get my travel vaccinations?
As a general rule, you should prepare for your vaccinations well in advance of travel, but at a minimum, you should aim for eight weeks in advance. Preparing ahead will give you ample time to have the multiple doses of treatment that some vaccinations like Hepatitis B and Rabies require.
If you have booked a last minute holiday, it is recommended that you still seek advice about your options, as certainly a private travel clinic will be able to assist at short notice.
Will my travel insurance cover me if I do catch a disease?
Generally, if you catch a disease that could have been prevented by an immunisation, your insurer will not cover the cost of treatment and in some cases, this could render your policy as invalid, proving very costly. When it comes to travel insurance, vaccinations are considered your own responsibility.
Visit your local travel clinic in London
MyHealthcare Clinic is here to get you ready for the world; with all of the vaccinations you may need for your holiday under one roof.
Visit MyHealthcare Clinic for popular vaccinations including Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Tetanus, as well as important private vaccinations unavailable on the NHS, like Hepatitis B, Rabies and even Japanese Encephalitis.
As a registered yellow fever centre, we can ensure that you obtain your International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, giving you unrestricted access to explore the world as you please.
We pride ourselves on being able to offer a premium travel healthcare service that’s local and affordable for all, especially with a MyHealthcare Clinic membership. Wherever it is you’re going, our specialised GP’s and nurses will help keep you safe on your travels. We will make recommendations, but ultimately, the vaccinations you decide to have are completely up to you.
For more information or to book a free pre-appointment telephone consultation, please give us a call on 020 7099 5555 or take a look at our travel vaccinations page.