With world travel becoming commonplace the task of ensuring correct vaccination cover and disease prevention is becoming specialised. We run special clinics where adequate time can be set aside to discuss even complex travel plans. Travel nurse appointments aim to better prepare travellers to enjoy their trip abroad, by providing individually tailored travel health information and advice, including any vaccinations and medications that may be required to help minimise the risk of illness whilst abroad.Image result for travel vaccinations
You don’t always need vaccinations to travel abroad. If you do, the recommended vaccinations will vary depending on:
- which country you’re visiting and, in some cases, which part of the country
- the season or time of year when you’ll be travelling (for example, the rainy season)
- whether you’ll be staying in a rural area or an urban or developed area
- what you’ll be doing during your stay, such as working in or visiting rural areas
- how long you’ll be staying
- your age and health
Courses can sometimes take a few weeks to complete and so we advise seeing the nurse at least 6-8 weeks before you intend to travel. Our Travel Nurses are experienced in giving advice on preventative measures to minimize the risk of illness whilst abroad.
If you require any vaccinations relating to foreign travel you need to make a telephone appointment with the practice nurse to discuss your travel arrangements. The nurse will call you at a pre-arranged time to ask you some questions (CLICK HERE – to see what sort of information the nurse may ask about, you will need to have this information to hand when the nurse calls you). Travel advice will either be given during this call, and/or you will be asked to attend a second appointment will be required with the practice nurse to actually receive the vaccinations. These vaccines have to be ordered, as they are not a stock vaccine. Your second appointment needs to be at least 2 weeks before you travel to allow the vaccines to work..
If, for any reason you would prefer not to have a telephone call, please fill in a travel assessment request form – CLICK HERE – and return completed form to the Surgery. You will then need to telephone the surgery a week or so later to ask if an appointment is required.
Please note that some vaccinations and all anti-malarial medication required for travel abroad are not available on the NHS and will incur a charge.
Ask at reception for the form to complete before a nurse appointment, or download the FORM HERE.
Get advice about vaccinations at least eight weeks before you’re due to travel. If you do need new vaccinations, some jabs need to be given well in advance so that they can work properly.
You also need to make sure your existing vaccinations for the UK are up-to-date, such as polio and tetanus. If they’re not, you can arrange booster jabs.
Things to consider
There are several things to consider when planning your travel vaccinations, including:
- the country or countries you are visiting – some diseases are more common in certain parts of the world and less common in others
- when you are travelling – some diseases are more common at certain times of the year, for example during the rainy season
- where you are staying – in general, you will be more at risk of disease in rural areas than in urban areas, and if you are backpacking and staying in hostels or camping, you may be more at risk than if you were on a package holiday and staying in a hotel
- how long you will be staying – the longer your stay, the greater your risk of being exposed to diseases
- your age and health – some people may be more vulnerable to infection than others, while some vaccinations cannot be given to people with certain medical conditions
- what you will be doing during your stay – for example, whether you will be spending a lot of time outdoors, such as trekking or working in rural areas
- if you are working as an aid worker – you may come into contact with more diseases if you are working in a refugee camp or helping after a natural disaster
- if you are working in a medical setting – for example, a doctor or nurse may require additional vaccinations
- if you are in contact with animals – in this case, you may be more at risk of getting diseases that are spread by animals, such as rabies
If you are only travelling to countries in northern and central Europe, North America or Australia, it is unlikely that you will need to have any vaccinations.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Speak to our Practice Nurse before having any vaccinations if:
- you are pregnant
- you think you might be pregnant
- you are breastfeeding
In many cases, it is unlikely that a vaccine given while pregnant or breastfeeding will cause problems for the baby.
People with immune deficiencies
For some people travelling overseas, vaccination against certain diseases may not be advised. This may be the case if:
- you have a condition that affects your body’s immune system, such as HIV or AIDS
- you are receiving treatment that affects your immune system, such as chemotherapy
- you have recently had a bone marrow or organ transplant
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