When travelling abroad, there are certain illnesses and diseases you may be exposed to in different parts of the world. Luckily, there are a wide range of vaccinations available to safeguard your health – but knowing which ones you need can sometimes be a struggle. If you’ve booked a holiday and are unsure whether or not you need to get vaccinated, this simple guide should help to shed some light on the matter.
At least eight weeks before you travel, you should seek advice about what vaccinations you will need. You can get this information from your GP, nurse or travel clinic. You can also head to online healthcare specialists such as Online Doctor Lloyds Pharmacy. It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to get vaccinated, as some jabs must be given well in advance and involve several injections over the course of a few weeks. You will also need to find out whether your existing vaccinations are up to date and get booster jabs if you require them.
Factors to consider
The vaccinations you need will depend on a number of factors, including the country you are travelling to, the time of year you will be there, which area of the country you will be staying in, what you’ll be doing while you’re there, how long you’ll be staying for and your age and general health.
If you are operating as an aid worker in a medical environment or you will be dealing with animals, you may be at a greater risk to diseases and need additional vaccinations.
What vaccinations do I need?
Especially if you are travelling to subtropical, tropical or developing countries, you may need to get vaccinated against a number of infectious diseases, such as yellow fever, hepatitis, typhoid fever, rabies, polio and diphtheria.
If you are visiting countries in North America, Australia or northern and central Europe, you probably won’t need to have any vaccinations. However, it’s always worth checking first to be sure.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that some countries, such as Saudi Arabia and some places in Africa and South America, require you to have an international Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) before you visit.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and travelling overseas, you will need to speak to your doctor before having vaccinations. While it is unlikely that the jab will cause harm to the baby, your doctor will be able to assess the situation and give you further advice.
Vaccinations may also not be advised for people with immune deficiencies, or those who are receiving chemotherapy. Again, your GP will be able to tell you whether they are suitable or not.
By planning ahead and seeking medical advice, you should be able to get the appropriate vaccinations and reduce your risk of harm while you’re away from home.