Certain vaccinations have long been necessary or recommended to travel to certain destinations from the UK, but we’ve become more aware than ever of what vaccines can do for us over the past year. While we’re all aware of the necessity of getting vaccinated for COVID-19, some of the vaccines you need or are recommended to get to travel abroad are just as, if not more, important. Many areas of the world put you at risk of catching a severe infection, so make sure you get any recommended vaccinations before you depart.
What vaccines do I need to travel from the UK?
What vaccines you need will depend on where you’re travelling to. You should check with your travel insurance to see if they require you to have any vaccinations for your destination to cover you while you are away. You can use Travel Health Pro or Fit for Travel by the NHS to find out what vaccinations are required and/or recommended for your destination.
The NHS recommends you consider getting vaccinated if you are going to be travelling abroad in rural areas, are going backpacking, staying in hostels, camping, or will be travelling for a long period of time. At our travel clinic in Birmingham, our pharmacists will guide you through which vaccinations you need to travel and enjoy your time away without fear of catching something nasty.
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What vaccines are available at our travel clinic in Birmingham?
The vaccinations we provide are:
– Yellow Fever – this is a serious disease that spreads via mosquitos in Africa, South and Central America, and some areas of the Caribbean. You need to have this vaccine at least 10 days before you travel. It is not available via the NHS, so you’ll need to come to our travel clinic in Birmingham (or one close to where you live) to get your vaccine. If you previously had this vaccine, you likely do not need it again.
– Meningitis B – you are recommended to get a meningitis vaccination if you are going to be travelling to Africa or Saudi Arabia, especially during times of mass gatherings, such as religious pilgrimages. You should have this vaccine 2-3 weeks before you depart. Note that babies need two injections before they can travel.
– TB Vaccine – Tuberculosis is a serious respiratory disease that was once widespread, but is not commonly seen in the Western world. The TB vaccine is recommended for children under 16 who will be staying for more than 3 months in an area with local people or family, in areas of Asia (including India), Africa, and the Middle East. If you are not in this group, ask about whether you need the vaccine at your consultation.
– Malaria – this is a life-threatening disease that can be easily transmitted through mosquitos, so it’s important to get antimalarials before you travel to any area of the world where Malaria is common.
If you are looking to travel abroad, you will also need PCR testing; we offer a range of Covid PCR tests to ensure you don’t get caught out along every step of your journey.
How long does it take to get vaccinations for travel?
Getting the vaccinations rarely takes more than a few minutes, but some vaccinations require multiple doses. We recommend that you think about getting your vaccinations 8 weeks before your departure date. Your body will develop a better level of immunity the longer it has been since you got the vaccine, so don’t delay.
Do I need proof of vaccination to travel?
There are some destinations that require proof of vaccination to travel – this must be an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP). Use Travel Health Pro or Fit for Travel by the NHS to find out if a certificate is needed.
Are travel vaccinations free?
Some travel vaccinations can be provided by the NHS, but some are not. Vaccines are not expensive and could save you from a terrible illness, so they’re well worth the investment.
If you live in or near Birmingham and are going to be travelling to a high-risk area in the next 2-3 months, make sure you book a consultation at our travel clinic here in Birmingham. We’ll be able to ensure you get all the vaccines you need to ensure you are safe on your travels.
Click here to book your appointment and find out more!
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