Travel Medicals and 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.
Vaccinations are available to protect you against many travel-related infections, such as yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A.
In the UK, the childhood vaccination programme protects you against a number of diseases such as tetanus, but it does not cover most of the infectious diseases that are found overseas.
You can find out which vaccinations are necessary or recommended for the areas you will be visiting on these two websites:
Some countries require you to have an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) before you enter. For example, Saudi Arabia requires proof of vaccination against certain types of meningitis for visitors arriving for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.
Many tropical countries in Africa and South America will not accept travellers from an area where there is yellow fever unless they can prove that they have been vaccinated against it.
You don’t always need vaccinations to travel abroad. If you do, the type of travel jabs you need depends on which country you’re visiting and what you’re doing.
You can visit a our private travel vaccination clinic for your UK boosters and other travel jabs.
Not all vaccinations are available free on the NHS, even if they’re recommended for travel to a certain area.
- diphtheria, polio and tetanus (combined booster)
- hepatitis A (including when combined with typhoid or hepatitis B)
- hepatitis B (when not combined with hepatitis A)
- Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis
- meningococcal meningitis
- tuberculosis (TB)
- yellow fever
Yellow fever vaccines are only available from designated centres. The NaTHNaC website can help you find where to get a yellow fever vaccination.
The cost of travel vaccines at our private clinics will vary, but could be around £50 for each dose of a vaccine. Therefore, if a vaccine requires three doses, the total cost could be around £150. It’s worth considering this when budgeting for your trip.
Things to consider
There are several things to consider when planning your travel vaccinations, including:
- the country or countries you are visiting – some diseases are more common in certain parts of the world and less common in others
- when you are travelling – some diseases are more common at certain times of the year, for example during the rainy season
- where you are staying – in general, you will be more at risk of disease in rural areas than in urban areas, and if you are backpacking and staying in hostels or camping, you may be more at risk than if you were on a package holiday and staying in a hotel
- how long you will be staying – the longer your stay, the greater your risk of being exposed to diseases
- your age and health – some people may be more vulnerable to infection than others, while some vaccinations cannot be given to people with certain medical conditions
- what you will be doing during your stay – for example, whether you will be spending a lot of time outdoors, such as trekking or working in rural areas
- if you are working as an aid worker – you may come into contact with more diseases if you are working in a refugee camp or helping after a natural disaster
- if you are working in a medical setting – for example, a doctor or nurse may require additional vaccinations
- if you are in contact with animals – in this case, you may be more at risk of getting diseases that are spread by animals, such as rabies
If you are only travelling to countries in northern and central Europe, North America or Australia, it is unlikely that you will not need to have any vaccinations.
Shades Clinic is a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre and has been authorised by NaTHNaC (as the regulatory body for England, Wales and Northern Ireland), to administer yellow fever vaccine in accordance with International Health Regulations (2005).
You should come and see us at least eight weeks before you are due to travel, because some vaccinations need to be given well in advance to allow your body to develop immunity and some involve multiple doses spread over several weeks.