Travel Vaccinations


Travel Vaccinations
If you’re planning to travel outside the UK, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world. Your GP surgery will be able to provide you with more information as to whether you need a vaccination and do this for you if you do need one.

The following vaccinations are available for people travelling abroad:

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Japanese encephalitis
Meningococcal meningitis
MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
Tick-borne encephalitis
Tuberculosis (TB)
Yellow fever

You can find more detailed information on which vaccinations are necessary or recommended for the areas you will be visiting on NHS Fit for Travel or NHS Choices – Travel Immunisations.


Cholera vaccination

Most cases of cholera are confined to regions of the world with poor sanitation and water hygiene, such as parts of:

  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • south and southeast Asia
  • the Middle East
  • central America and the Caribbean

A single booster dose or full re-vaccination is usually recommended if you’ve previously been vaccinated against cholera and you’re planning to travel to an area where the infection is common.


Diphtheria vaccination

A combined vaccination that protects against diphtheria, polio and tetanus is routinely given to all children in the UK. Further booster doses are usually only recommended if you’re going to visit parts of the world where diphtheria is widespread and your last vaccination dose was more than 10 years ago.

Diphtheria is more common in parts of the world where fewer people are vaccinated, such as:

  • Africa
  • south Asia
  • the former Soviet Union


Hepatitis A vaccination

Areas with a high risk of hepatitis A include:

  • sub-Saharan and north Africa
  • the Indian subcontinent – particularly Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan
  • some parts of the Far East – excluding Japan
  • the Middle East
  • south and central America

The vaccination against hepatitis A is usually given as a single initial injection, with an optional booster dose 6 to 12 months later that can protect you for at least 20 years if necessary.


Hepatitis B vaccination

As hepatitis B is spread through blood and body fluids, activities such as having sex, injecting drugs or playing contact sports on your travels can increase your risk. Anyone travelling for long periods or who is likely to need medical care while abroad is also at increased risk.

Hepatitis B is found worldwide, but it’s more common in:

  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • east and southeast Asia
  • the Middle East
  • southern and eastern Europe


Japanese encephalitis vaccination

Japanese encephalitis is found throughout Asia and beyond. The area it’s found in stretches from the western Pacific islands in the east, such as Fiji, across to the borders of Pakistan in the west. It’s found as far north as Korea and as far south as the north coast of Australia.

Despite its name, Japanese encephalitis is now relatively rare in Japan because of mass immunisation programmes.


Meningococcal meningitis vaccination

Vaccination against meningococcal meningitis is usually recommended if you’re travelling to areas at risk and your planned activities put you at higher risk – for example, if you’re a long-term traveller who has close contact with the local population.

High-risk areas for meningococcal meningitis include parts of Africa and Saudi Arabia. All travellers to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages are required to show proof of vaccination.

If travelling to a high-risk area, you should be vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis with an ACWY vaccine, also known as the quadrivalent meningococcal meningitis vaccine. This is a single injection that should be given two to three weeks before you travel.

You should have the ACWY vaccine before travelling to high-risk areas, even if you had the meningitis C vaccine as a child.


Polio vaccination

Further booster doses are usually only recommended if you’re going to visit parts of the world where polio is widespread and your last vaccination dose was more than 10 years ago.

Currently, the condition is most common in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, but it’s also a risk in other regions of the world.


Rabies vaccination

Vaccination against rabies is advised if you’re travelling to an area where rabies is common in animals.

Rabies can be found in many parts of the world.


Tetanus vaccination

A combined vaccination that protects against diphtheria, polio and tetanus is routinely given to all children in the UK. You should ensure you and your children are up-to-date with your routine vaccinations before travelling.

Further booster doses are usually only recommended if you’re travelling to areas where access to medical services is likely to be limited or your last vaccination dose was more than 10 years ago.


Tick-borne encephalitis vaccination

The ticks that cause TBE are mainly found in forested areas of central, eastern and northern Europe, although at-risk areas also include eastern Russia and some countries in east Asia, particularly forested regions of China and Japan.

The course can sometimes be accelerated if necessary. This involves two doses being given two weeks apart.

Booster doses of the vaccine are recommended every three years if necessary.


Tuberculosis (TB) vaccination

The BCG vaccine is given as a single injection.

Parts of the world that have high rates of TB include:

  • Africa – particularly sub-Saharan Africa and west Africa
  • southeast Asia – including India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh
  • Russia
  • China
  • South America
  • the western Pacific region (to the west of the Pacific Ocean) – including Vietnam and Cambodia


Typhoid vaccination

Vaccination against typhoid fever is recommended if you’re travelling to parts of the world where the condition is common,

  • the Indian subcontinent
  • Africa
  • south and southeast Asia
  • South America
  • the Middle East
  • Europe
  • Central America

Ideally, the typhoid vaccine should be given at least one month before you travel, but it can be given closer to your travel date if necessary.

Booster vaccinations are recommended every three years if you continue to be at risk of infection.


Yellow fever vaccination

Vaccination against yellow fever is advised if you’re travelling to areas where there’s a risk of yellow fever transmission. Some countries require a proof of vaccination certificate before they let you enter the country. Yellow fever is most common in some areas of tropical Africa and South America.

Mar 7, 2016 | Posted by | Comments Off on Travel Vaccinations