Things to consider
There are several things to take into consideration when planning your travel vaccinations, including:
- The country or countries you are visiting. In some cases, the region of a country you are visiting will also be important.
- 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 getting diseases in rural areas than in urban areas.
- 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 those with a particular medical condition.
- 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, 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. If you are travelling outside these countries, it is likely that some vaccinations will be required.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Speak to your jabs 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. However, your GP will be able to give you further advice.
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 (a treatment for cancer)
- you have recently had a bone marrow or organ transplant
Jabs can give you further advice.
The areas that are considered to be of high risk for any disease may change. For up-to-date travel information on the country you are visiting, check:
- National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC)
- Jabs travel clinic 01883 212