What vaccinations do I need?



International travel is now quicker and more convenient than ever before. In a matter of hours, you can fly to a dizzying array of destinations across the planet. This is good news for anyone with a sense of wanderlust. However, because globe hopping is now so simple, it can be tempting to become a little complacent concerning the health risks that exist in other parts of the world.

Highlighting this point, travellers regularly return to the UK suffering from diseases that they contracted while overseas. For example, each year around 1,750  people return to Britain with malaria. This disease is spread by mosquitoes that carry plasmodium parasites and it is found in over 100 countries, mainly in tropical regions. Malaria symptoms can be severe and, in some cases, the condition proves fatal. Despite the fact that anti-malarial tablets are readily available from health clinics and trusted online pharmacies such as onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com, it seems many people fail to protect themselves from this disease. If you’re determined to avoid this pitfall and want to adopt a responsible approach to travel medicines and vaccines, take a look at this short guide.

Do your homework

The health protection you need will depend largely on where you are planning to go. If your travel itinerary is restricted to countries in northern and central Europe, Australia or North America, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to have any vaccinations.

However, if you’re heading to other regions, you may be at risk. Travel-related infections are many and varied. As well as malaria, they include the likes of typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, dengue, yellow fever, meningitis and rabies.

You will need to research the diseases found in your destination of choice. Also, bear in mind that your risk of contracting these diseases is affected by a range of factors, including when you are travelling, whether you will be based in urban or rural areas, the length of your stay, your age and general health and whether you will be in contact with animals.

It’s also important to note that you may not have a choice when it comes to getting certain vaccinations. Some countries require you to have an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis before you are allowed to enter. For example, visitors arriving for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia must show proof that they have been vaccinated against certain types of meningitis.

Try to see your doctor eight weeks before you travel

Your doctor will be able to provide you with the guidance you need, and you should try to make an appointment with your GP at least eight weeks before you set off on your travels. Bear in mind that some vaccinations must be given well in advance to ensure that your body has developed immunity. Also, certain vaccines are administered in doses spread over a period of several weeks.

You might have to allocate a portion of your travel budget to these vaccinations. Although some of them are available for free on the NHS, others must be paid for privately.


As long as you research your medical requirements well in advance and make sure you have all the relevant vaccinations and medicines, you should be able to stay safe while abroad.


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