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If you are jetting off outside of the UK, you may have to get vaccinated against certain serious illnesses found in other parts of the world. These include infections like typhoid, Yellow Fever and hepatitis A. It’s important to ensure that you get protection from these diseases before travelling. Continue reading to learn more about our travel clinic in West Croydon and how you can get the vaccines you need for your trip.
The NHS provides a routine immunisation program (vaccination) in the UK to protect you against certain diseases. However, the schedule doesn’t cover all the infectious illnesses found in other countries.
If possible, consult with your pharmacist or travel clinic at least 8 weeks prior to the day of travel.
Some vaccines require time to provide enough protection against diseases, while others come with a number of vaccinations in a span of weeks or months.
Visiting certain areas or doing particular activities may put you at higher risk of getting some illnesses. Examples of these areas and activities include:
– Rural areas
– Camping or hostels
– Long trips
Travel-related diseases can be even more worrying if you have a pre-existing health complication.
Below are two of the websites you can visit for up-to-date information on the vaccinations recommended for the regions you’ll be visiting.
Certain countries need proof of vaccination, like yellow fever or polio vaccination, which should be reflected on an ICVP (International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis) before entry or exit is granted.
People visiting Saudi Arabia for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages are required to provide proof of vaccination against some types of meningitis.
It’s always a good idea to travel with a record of all the vaccinations you’ve had before.
The NHS provides the following travel vaccines for free if your GP is certified to give immunisation or vaccination services.
– Hepatitis A
– Polio (given as a combined jab of diphtheria, polio, and tetanus)
These vaccines are free under the NHS because they are considered to bring the greatest health risk to the public if they were to get into the UK. You can get these vaccines from a pharmacy near you such as Shivas Pharmacy.
You’ll have to part with some money to get travel vaccinations against the following diseases:
– Japanese encephalitis
– Hepatitis B
– Meningitis vaccines
– Tuberculosis (TB)
– Yellow fever
– Tick-borne encephalitis
Yellow fever vaccines can only be found at designated centres.
Travel vaccines that aren’t provided by the NHS are available at varying costs depending on which illness you are getting vaccinated against and the number of doses involved.
It’s important to consider these costs when budgeting for your travel.
Below are some of the other things you’ll have to consider when planning for your travel vaccinations.
– Your health and age – you may be at higher risk of getting infections than others, or may not be eligible for some vaccines due to a certain health condition.
– Working in a medical field – a doctor, nurse, or any other healthcare provider may have to get additional vaccines.
– Working as an aid worker – you may get exposed to more illnesses when giving aid to refugees, or national disaster victims.
– Contact with animals – the closer you get to animals along the way, the higher the risk of catching certain infections, such as rabies.
You may not require any vaccinations if you are headed to countries in North America, Australia, or central and northern Europe.
But you should ensure your routine vaccinations provided by the NHS are up-to-date, to be on the safe side.
Consult with your GP before receiving any vaccinations if:
– You suspect pregnancy
– You’re pregnant
– You’re breastfeeding
If vaccination is done in the correct way, you shouldn’t have to worry about pregnancy or breastfeeding affecting your baby.
It’s important to talk to your GP and get further guidance and information on this.
Some people may be advised not to get vaccinated against some diseases when travelling abroad for a number of reasons. Such reasons can be if you:
– Are suffering from a medical condition that weakens your immune system, like HIV.
– Are on medical treatment that interferes with your immune system, like chemotherapy.
– Have recently undergone an organ or bone marrow transplant.
Your GP or pharmacist can provide you with further information.
While you are considering any travel vaccinations, remember to also keep track of the other vaccinations in the UK.
Update your GP or pharmacist on any vaccinations you’ve had in the past.
People with weakened immune systems may be offered vaccinations against the diseases listed below.
– Hepatitis B
You can get further details about vaccinations on the NHS vaccines Page.