What you need to know about travel vaccines
When travelling outside of the UK, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases and viruses found in other parts of the world. While some of these mandatory vaccines are available through the NHS routine immunisation schedule, others aren’t and instead require vaccinations sourced from a private travel clinic.
The travel vaccines that are available through the NHS include diphtheria, polio, tetanus, cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis A. That leaves a number of other common vaccinations that aren’t covered by the NHS, including hepatitis B, meningitis, rabies, tick-borne encephalitis, tuberculosis, and yellow fever.
While these diseases are not commonly found in the UK, there are a broad range of countries that require you to be vaccinated against one or more of them before travel. These include Australia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. These countries’ entry policies relating to vaccines are all unique, feature different terms, and can change over time, so it’s best to check for the latest information through the NHS before deciding if you need a vaccine.
It’s not the most exciting part of planning a trip, but ensuring that you have all of the necessary travel vaccinations you need should be high on your priority list, as you can be denied entry to the country you’re trying to travel to or have to quarantine on arrival if you don’t meet their conditions. It’s also advised that you research and book and required vaccines as far in advance before your trip as possible, as some vaccines won’t provide immunity until weeks after being administered.
If you’re unsure about whether you need a travel vaccine to make a trip abroad that you’re planning, you can find out more on the NHS website or by speaking to your GP. If you determine that you do need one or more vaccinations, search for a private travel clinic in your area with My Health Assistant and book an appointment for whenever suits you.