Getting vaccinations is not anyone’s favourite pre-trip thought but it is an essential one. Depending on where you’re off to, you could be in need of some must-have injections against diseases in that part of the world.
Of course, we can’t replace the doctor’s advice, but here’s our quick and simple guide to the whats, whens and wheres when it comes to getting those jabs.
The vaccinations you’ll need will vary wildly depending on your destination. Check out Fitfortravel.com, National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC.net) and Masta-travel-health.com for a quick reference by country.
If you’re a UK resident you’ll be glad to hear that the classics, including Hepatitis A and Typhoid, are covered by the NHS. Beyond these, vaccinations including Hepatitis B, Rabies and Tuberculosis will have to come out of your own travel budget.
When deciding which vaccinations to get, it’s always best to consult a nurse, doctor or travel medical specialist who’s clued up on the all latest in the industry. There are a few jabs which are recommended and some are even essential. Beyond these, there is a long list of others which are optional. As tempting as it is to skip those optional ones, especially when they come with a not-so-friendly price tag, it is worth thinking through the risks first.
If you’re travelling to rural areas or during rainy season for example, the risks are a little higher. If you’re planning on working in the medical field or with animals, those optional jabs become a little less optional. Weigh up all the nitty gritty details before deciding.
As with every aspect of travel planning, don’t leave those jabs to the last minute. Some vaccinations need to be administered weeks before you leave and others, like rabies, require multiple rounds of injections. Chat with your chosen medical professional about the timings to ensure you can get covered before take-off.
You can get the majority of shots at your usual doctors with a simple appointment. They will have access to your records and can tell you if your current vaccinations are up to date. However, they may not stock all the necessary vaccines.
If your local doctors won’t do, head to a specialist private travel clinic. It only takes a quick google to find specialists in your city. Here, not only can you chat with an expert to see exactly what you’ll need, you can be sure they’ll stock pretty much everything. Be aware though, these may be a little pricier than your average GP surgeries but they will get the job done quicker.
Keep in mind that yellow fever vaccinations can only be given in certain centres. Search for your nearest at Nathnac.org.
Jetsetter Jobs Top Tips for Vaccinations:
- Keep a few health and safety rules in mind when it comes to overseas diseases. There are simple things you can do to keep your trip running smoothly. Drinking bottled rather than tap water in at-risk areas, keeping mosquitos at bay and avoiding drugs and unprotected sex will all help keep the risk of contracting something nasty to a minimum.
- Malaria. This is a whole other ball game. Malaria is a disease spread by mosquitos and, although there’s no vaccination, you can take antimalarial tablets to reduce the risk of catching it. As with many vaccinations, these are optional and do come with a price tag. The risk is increased if you’re travelling in the rainy season or through rural areas. Beyond the tablets, sleeping under a mosquito net and using mosquito sprays and coils will help to decrease your risk of a bite.
- Keep any and all paper work you receive after a jab. Not only will this help you down the road when you’re trying to remember what you’ve had and when, but you may need the proof. Yellow fever vaccinations, for example, require a certificate of immunisation before entry into certain areas of Africa and South America. Keep everything on hand and organised to avoid getting caught out.