There are numerous things to consider when travelling abroad on holiday: flights, hotel, foreign currency, what shorts to take, etc. This list goes on and on, but immunisation jabs should be very high on your list of things to do.
While it may not be as fun and buying and packing beachwear and flip-flops, making sure you have had the proper injections to protect you in a foreign country can be the difference between a holiday to remember and one to forget. You see, there is no sense in packing your suitcase and heading to the airport if you have failed to consider the bugs and other health risks that may await you.
Almost one-in-four British holidaymakers do not bother to get any vaccinations before travelling abroad; this is despite the risk of serious diseases in some countries. Having spent hundreds, if not thousands of pounds on you holiday, is it really worth risking it all over skipped travel vaccination?
Mosquitos – your worst enemy without vaccinations
There are 196 countries in the world, so as you can imagine, there are a lot of different bugs and diseases. Of course, this also means there are a lot of immunisation jabs. Different jabs are needed for different continents. The two most common jabs are the Polio vaccination and the Tetanus vaccination.
Polio is a disease that spreads through contaminated food and water. All UK children are vaccinated against Polio, although 10 year boosters are required. You may need a Polio jab if you are travelling to Africa, South East Asia and the eastern Mediterranean.
Tetanus can be picked through dirty cuts, scratches and grazes. Like Polio, all UK children are vaccinated against the disease and 10 year boosters are required. If you are travelling outside of Western Europe, you may need a Tetanus jab. Other vaccinations that may be required include:
- Typhoid vaccination – needed for some countries in Africa, Asia, South America and the Indian sub-continent.
- Cholera vaccination – needed for some parts of Asia, India and Africa.
- Hepatitis A and B vaccinations – Hepatitis A jab may be required when travelling to Africa, the Far East, Central and South America, whereas Hepatitis B jab is required anywhere in the world that has an increased risk of catching the disease.
- Yellow Fever vaccination – needed for travel to Africa and South America.
- Rabies vaccination – may be required when travelling to Central and South America.
- Japanese encephalitis vaccination – needed for travel to Asia.
- Tick-borne encephalitis vaccination – required for Western Europe and Asia.
- Meningococcal meningitis vaccination – commonly needed for travellers to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages.
Where to get immunisation jabs?
It is best to make plans for an immunisation jab several weeks before you are due to travel. On the majority of occasions, your local GP or nurse will be able to provide you with the vaccination, either free or for a small charge. For Yellow Fever jabs, travellers must visit a local Yellow Fever centre.
Immunisation jabs are quick and painless and will allow you to enjoy your holiday without worry. Don’t be the one in four people that travel without them!
Please check with registered professionals before taking any medicines and for the latest advice. and always check up on the latest Covid restrictions and requirements for both the country you are travelling from and the country you are travelling to.
The editor of Discovery News Journal, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.