Preparing for vaccinations

When going on holiday, it is advised to start thinking about vaccinations 6-8 weeks before travelling, as some vaccines and antimalarial tablets need time to take full effect. Many travel vaccines require multiple shots or take time to become fully effective.

Be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters , such as measles – mumps -rubella and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccines.

Always remember to buy travel insurance too!

Below is a list of the most common vaccines used for around the world travel and the advised doses:

Rabies vaccine (three doses).


Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio (one dose).

Typhoid (one dose).

Yellow fever and certificate (one dose).

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A course of three injections of Twinrix to cover against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

Things to consider:

At least around eight weeks before travelling, it’s advised to check out the latest country-specific health advice from the National Health Network and Centre, on the Travel Health Pro website. This has country-specific information on health risks, outbreaks and vaccine recommendations.

Keep in mind that some countries require proof of vaccination (for example, for polio or yellow fever vaccination), which must be documented on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) before you enter or when you leave a country.

Saudi Arabia requires proof of vaccination against certain types of meningitis for visitors arriving for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

Keep in mind altitude sickness for areas of high altitude. Symptoms include headaches, shortness of breath, vomiting, heart palpitations and disorientation. Consider ibuprofen and paracetamol for headaches and anti-sickness medication, like promethazine, for nausea. Coca leaves and sweets may also help.

Be alert to countries that have the Zika virus. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should not visit the country.

Be aware of countries that do not have safe drinking water. Avoid foods washed in water (eg, salads) and keep your mouth closed while showering. Avoid ice cubes in drinks.


Vaccinations Guides:

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Useful links:

The World Health Organization: for a list of countries requiring Yellow Fever Vaccination.

Immunization Action Coalition: for general vaccine information.

The National Health Service: for an overview of travel vaccinations.

Tropical Medical Bureau: for vaccines in all destinations.

Travel Health Pro: country-specific health updates.


Please note that we are not health experts and this is not an exhaustive list. The above is just guidance. Always seek medical/health consultation from an expert for vaccinations, outbreaks etc.