When planning to travel abroad, it’s important to research the countries you plan on visiting to see if you’ll need any vaccinations before you go. There are a number of potentially dangerous diseases across the world that our immune systems need help protecting us against. Here’s a great place to start your travel vaccination research.
Why do you need vaccines when travelling?
Visiting new places presents wonderful opportunities for enriching yourself with the local culture. But at the same time, travelling can increase your chance of coming into contact with unfamiliar diseases, such as typhoid and Japanese encephalitis.
Protecting yourself against these illnesses is important because they can develop into serious, sometimes life threatening conditions, particularly when travelling further afield and when visiting tropical climates.
Receiving the relevant travel vaccines is so important that some countries won’t allow you in without a valid vaccination certificate. Kenya, for example, requires all tourists to have a yellow fever vaccination certificate to travel there.
When do I need to get my holiday vaccines?
You should plan your vaccinations at least eight weeks in advance of your departure date because some injections need to be taken further apart. Check with your GP or an online service like MASTA to check which vaccines you need and when they need to be taken.
Which travel vaccinations do I need?
The required travel vaccinations depend on which country you’re travelling to. You can speak to your GP or use an online tool like Fit for Travel for more information.
Make sure to provide as much travel information as possible to the person arranging your vaccinations. Vaccination requirements can be different for places as little as 100 miles apart, and also between rural and built-up areas.
How much do travel vaccines cost?
Some vaccines are free and can be booked through your GP, but you will need to pay for others (such as yellow fever inoculation, which usually costs between £60 and £85) at designated clinics.
Will vaccines I took as a child still protect me?
Some childhood vaccines cover you for life. So if you had all of your childhood vaccinations, you should be protected against tetanus, for example.
Others need a booster. Check with your GP and they will be able to let you know which vaccinations you’ve had and whether they need a booster, so you can be sure you’re covered.
Does my travel insurance cover travel vaccinations?
Vaccinations are an important part of protecting your health while on a trip. Some travel insurance policies provide important information about the relevant holiday vaccines you need for wherever you’re going in the world and details on how to arrange them.