Holidays and vaccinations; what protection do you need?

May 15, 2023

What do diptheria, Hepatitis A and B, Japanese and tick-borne encephalitis, Covid-19, meningococcal meningitis, polio, rabies, tetanus, tuberculosis, typhoid and Yellow Fever have in common?  Well, depending where you are travelling to, you may need to have a pre-travel vaccination to prevent against one, or more, of these diseases and there are others you may need to consider too.

Doing your research is really important, especially as some of the required vaccinations are only given in particular clinics, to which you may have to travel, ahead of your trip abroad.  You can talk to a health professional but not all will be experts in this field, so also do your own research.

Some countries will not admit you, if you do not have the required vaccinations, so do make sure you get this right and get your vaccinations in the timeframe required – which will be different for each one.  If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, suffer allergies or have an immune deficiency, it pays to consider whether it is advisable to travel to a country that requires a vaccination.  This is why planning in advance of booking a trip is so important.


During this holiday planning stage, you should also be booking your travel insurance as soon as you have decided on your destination.  That way, you can be covered for cancellation, for circumstances of which you were unaware or could not have foreseen, at the time of booking.  Leave travel insurance to the last minute and you are more exposed to cancellation costs.

Here are details of some of the most common vaccinations recommended for travel but for more detailed information on the full list visit, www.nhs.uk and discuss with a health practitioner in advance of your travels.

Covid 19:

Despite cases of Covid-19 now being at their lowest level, many countries still require proof of vaccination before allowing entry.  You must, therefore, comply with the local public health authority guidelines for the country you are visiting.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) provides the latest official travel information on the COVID-19 entry requirements for every country. which you can check at www.gov.uk. This will help you decide if you need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test before you travel and also perhaps provide proof of vaccination. You can also check the risk to exposure to Covid 19 at the 'Alerts' section of www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk

Do note that Europesure Travel Insurance can cover you for Covid-19 related medical treatment required abroad, if you take the Covid-19 cover option.

Diptheria, polio and tetanus:

A combined vaccination against diphtheria, polio and tetanus is routinely given to all UK children. Further booster doses are usually only recommended if you are visiting parts of the world where diphtheria is widespread and your last vaccination dose was more than 10 years ago. These countries can be found in Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, South America, Haiti, Eastern Europe and Russia.

Hepatitis

A Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended, if you are travelling to a destination with poor sanitation and hygiene, or one where Hepatitis A is commonplace. Such places include sub-Saharan and North Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South and Central America and Eastern Europe.

Hepatitis Bis found worldwide but is more common in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East, southern and eastern Europe and parts of South America. The Hepatitis B vaccination generally involves a course of three injections. Depending on how quickly you need protection, these may be spread over a period as long as six months or as short as three weeks.  A combined Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B jab is also available, if you're likely to be at risk of both these conditions while travelling.

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and Japenese encephalitis

Vaccination is recommended for anyone who plans to live or work in a high-risk area.  The ticks that cause TBE are mainly found in forested areas of central, eastern and northern Europe, although at-risk areas also include eastern Russia, some countries in east Asia, and also some regions of China and Japan.  

If travelling to the latter, a vaccination against Japanese encephalitis, spread by mosquito bite, is recommended, particularly if you are visiting rural areas, trekking or camping. This vaccination is usually given privately but well worth considering, given the health issues that this disease can cause.

Yellow Fever

A single dose of Yellow Fever vaccination will last a lifetime and is advised if you are travelling to areas in tropical Africa and Central and South America.  Some countries require a proof of vaccination certificate, before they will let you enter the country.  You will be given an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, when you have the vaccine.

Malaria

If you are travelling to an area where there is malaria it is recommended to visit your GP or health practitioner, to discuss necessary precautions, including the taking of important anti-malaria tablets before, during and after your trip, and engaging in bite protection tactics.

Meningococcal Meningitis

A vaccine against meningococcal meningitis is recommended if travelling to certain countries.  Proof of such a vaccine is actually required if travelling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage, where the disease presents a risk given the volume of people attending the pilgrimage.  Otherwise, this is a vaccine largely recommended when travelling to parts of Africa.

Rabies

Rabies is usually caught from a bite or scratch from an infected animal and can be found in many parts of the world.  More details of each country in which rabies presents a risk, can be found at www.gov.uk  A vaccination is particularly recommended if there is a heightened risk in a particular destination, or if you are staying for a month or more.

Europesure’s travel insurance policies are ideal for both UK citizens and EU residents and policies can be provided to any resident of the EU, EEA, Cyprus, Gibraltar or Monaco. It is important to ensure you have the appropriate travel insurance in place, before you travel, so build both this – and vaccination research – into your travel planning.

To book travel insurance for your next trip, visit www.europesuretravelinsurance.com  To add Covid-19 cover to your policy, just add on the Covid-19 option, before buying.

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