How important are travel vaccinations?

Travel vaccinations are a necessary precaution to immunise you against infectious and potentially incurable diseases found overseas. In some situations, proof of vaccination must be provided before entry is permitted and failure to do so can result in quarantine, immunisation or entry being denied. What’s more, depending on your travel insurance, by not receiving your vaccinations for travel, you may be at risk of your policy not paying out should you fall ill.

Why get travel vaccinations?

Travel vaccinations are an effective form of protection that guards you against contracting infectious diseases overseas. Immunisation when travelling will help to keep you safe and healthy throughout your stay. What’s more, vaccinations also help to prevent the spreading of infectious diseases ensuring that when you return from travelling, you don’t pass the infection or disease to friends and family.

Are vaccinations for travel covered by insurance?

Most travel insurance policies do not include travel vaccines and medicines, and only very occasionally will policies offer any form of reimbursement. However, it is prudent to check with your insurance company to determine what is covered by your policy as, by not receiving your vaccinations for travel, you may be at risk of your policy not paying out should you fall ill.

Which travel vaccinations need boosters?

As of March 2018, the exhaustive list of travel vaccinations that require a booster includes; Meningitis, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Twinrix (Hepatitis A & B), Japanese Encephalitis, Diphtheria Tetanus and Polio, Cholera and Rabies (pre- and post-exposure). If you are unsure of your vaccination history, you can schedule an appointment with a travel nurse to learn if you’re immune.

Can you travel without vaccinations?

Travelling without the appropriate vaccinations is inadvisable and can have devastating and irreversible consequences. While it is possible to travel without immunisation, in no circumstances is it recommended, and in some cases, particularly severely affected countries require proof of vaccination before entry is permitted.

Can babies get travel vaccinations?

Babies can and should be vaccinated before travelling overseas. The childhood vaccination programme offers protection against various diseases but doesn't cover many of the infectious diseases found in some tropical countries. Paediatric vaccinations are available for babies and children, and immunisations are frequently cheaper than those required for adults.

How long do vaccinations last for?

Just as the severity of infectious diseases differs, so too does the longevity of vaccinations. While some vaccinations such as Yellow fever and courses of vaccines for example: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Rabies will often provide life-long protection, others, such as Typhoid, Meningitis, Japanese Encephalitis and Cholera will usually require booster shots after a designated period.

How far in advance do you need to get travel vaccinations?

Best practice dictates that vaccinations should be sourced a minimum of 4 weeks before travel. This not only grants your body enough time to build up enough tolerance to the disease but also allows for those vaccinations which require multiple doses spread over several weeks. However, vaccines which do not consist of a course such as Diphtheria Tetanus and Polio, and Yellow fever can be given from 7-10 days before travel.

What’s more, in situations where an International Certificate of Vaccination is required before entry is permitted, admittance may be denied until a specific time-frame has elapsed.

How much does it cost to get vaccinations?

Travel vaccinations can vary in cost quite significantly depending on course, dose, and the requirement of an International Certificate of Vaccination. Most vaccinations start at circa £50 per dose, but for paediatric doses, it is often markedly cheaper. You can view a comprehensive price list here, or, to book your vaccine, contact 020 8261 7550.

Which vaccines are the most important?

The necessity of certain vaccinations is dependent on a number of key risk factors, including destination of travel, duration and season of travel, standards of accommodation, food hygiene and sanitation, and traveller behaviour. To identify what level of risk you are likely to face, it can be prudent to book an appointment with a travel nurse who can help advise on the most critical vaccinations to choose.

Where to get travel vaccinations?

London Travel Clinic offers same day, evening, and weekend appointments in ten strategically placed locations throughout the Greater London area. No matter your location, you are never too far from London’s travel health experts. You can book vaccines online here, or, for more information, contact 020 8261 7550.

What countries require a Yellow Fever vaccine?

Yellow Fever predominantly occurs in tropical parts of South America, Trinidad in the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan and West Africa with virtually all affected countries requiring proof of vaccination before entry is permitted. To be granted access, an International Certificate of Vaccination must be presented, and failure to do so can result in quarantine, immunisation or entry being denied.

How much does it cost to get a Yellow Fever vaccine?

For all patients, a single dose of the Yellow Fever vaccine costs £70 and comes with an International Certificate of Vaccination. This certificate is often required to enter virtually all affected countries, and a re-issue cost of £25 is charged should the original be lost, damaged or stolen. You can book vaccines online here, or, for more information, contact 020 34321 381.

How far in advance of travel do you need to get a Yellow Fever vaccine?

The Yellow Fever vaccine should be sourced a minimum of 10 days before travel; this allows enough time for your body to build immunity to the virus. The Yellow Fever International Certificate of Vaccination also only becomes valid ten days after vaccination, and some countries will deny entry until this time-frame has elapsed.

Can you get Yellow Fever from the vaccine?

It is possible for the Yellow Fever vaccine to cause a very mild form of the disease, but this happens only in very rare cases. A vaccine, like any medicine, can cause a severe reaction, especially in the case of a live-virus vaccine like Yellow Fever, so doctors will be cautious about giving the vaccine to anyone with a weakened immune system.

What countries require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination?

As of February 16th 2017, the exhaustive list of countries requiring a Yellow Fever International Certificate of Vaccination from all inbound countries includes: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Togo. A more in-depth list exists for visitors who are arriving from countries with risk of Yellow Fever transmission.

Where are the most common places to get Yellow Fever?

Yellow Fever occurs in tropical and sub-tropical parts of South America, the Caribbean island of Trinidad and sub-Saharan and West Africa. The virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes, it cannot be transmitted from person to person. Large epidemics can occur when infected people introduce the virus into densely populated areas with high mosquito density and where most people have little or no immunity, due to lack of vaccination.

Do I need a Yellow Fever vaccine?

All individuals aged nine months or older and living in countries or areas at risk should receive the Yellow Fever vaccine. Yellow Fever is transmitted by a daytime biting mosquito and can be fatal, and the vaccine is encouraged, if not explicitly required when visiting parts of South America and sub-Saharan and West Africa. It is crucial to screen travel itineraries and carefully evaluate the potential risk of illness after Yellow Fever vaccination. Currently, there is no specific anti-viral drug for Yellow Fever, and vaccination is the only effective form of protection.

How long do the side effects of Yellow Fever vaccine last?

The Yellow Fever vaccine may lead to headaches, drowsiness, and muscle aches for as long as ten days after immunisation. However, reactions to the Yellow Fever vaccine are mild, except in rare cases. A single dose often provides life-long protection against the Yellow Fever disease, meaning that a booster dose is not needed.

Is the Yellow Fever vaccine painful?

Despite the use of a weakened live-virus, the Yellow Fever vaccine is no more painful than any other frequently-prescribed vaccines. However, side-effects of the Yellow Fever vaccine can occur as long as ten days after immunisation and can include headaches, drowsiness, and muscle aches. That being said, the risk of not being vaccinated usually outweighs the risk of side-effects quite substantially.

 

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