Travel Vaccination Clinics
Vaccinations and Immunisations are important methods in providing protection against a number of diseases and conditions. Whilst they can provide very good protection the majority of travel vaccines are not 100% effective and therefore take should still be taken especially with food, water and personal hygiene.
The assessment at our clinics will review your prior and recent medical history; previous vaccinations; side effects and allergies as well as your specific itinerary and travel start date.
It is extremely useful therefore if clients can bring in their patient summary which can be requested from their local GPs.
Once vaccinated we will always supply a list of the treatments you’ve received which we recommend you keep with you passport together with a list of medications you normally take for reference.
Which travel vaccination do you need?
In general vaccinations are recommended and not a requirement for travel. The vaccinations recommended will depend on the country being visited; previous vaccinations; the type of travel; the length of travel; any recent outbreaks or alerts and patient concerns .
Yellow fever describes the symptoms people get when they are affected by the disease i.e their eyes become yellow ( jaundiced) and they develop a fever.
The disease is caused by a virus which is transmitted to people after they are bitten by an infected mosquito. The disease causes jaundice because of liver damage, bleeding, fever and can eventually become fatal.
The vaccination is highly effective at preventing the disease from developing. It is however a live vaccine which is restricted therefore to people whose immune system is reduced for example those who have recently had chemotherapy, those on immune modulating medications and those with HIV whose CD$ count is below 200.
As humans can also transfer the disease when they travel from affected countries to non- affected countries, an international certificate for yellow fever vaccination
is required for travel to several countries.
The Yellow Fever certificate comes into effect ten days after vaccination and now lasts the lifetime. People who have previously been vaccinated can be vaccinated again if they lose or misplace their certificate. Exemption certificates can be issued to those contra-indicated the vaccine for example those who are Pregnant; those having chemotherapy and taking immune-modulating medications.
Typhoid Fever is caught from food, drink or water contaminated with Salmonella Typhi bacteria. The condition can quickly become fatal and causes fever, stomach upset, aches and pains. It is highly infectious and can easily pass from an infected person to another. A vaccination is therefore recommended for all destinations at risk and lasts for 3 years.
Cholera is caught after eating or drinking food, drink or water contaminated by a bacteria. The disease causes loose watery and sometime bloody diarrhoea. Risk foods are unwashed salads, shellfish and contaminated water. Vaccination is recommended in those travelling to outbreak areas or doing humanitarian work.
The vaccine is not an injection but protection is gained for up to 2 years after taking two drinks 1-6 weeks apart. Ideally the second drink should be taken 1 week before travel.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection and is spread via aerosol after people sneeze or cough into the air. It causes fever, sore throat, joint pains and sometimes skin infections. It can be fatal but is rare in the UK as immunisation is part of the routine childhood scheduled combined with Tetanus and Polio vaccination. Booster as adults are required every 10 years if travelling abroad.
The hepatitis A viral is present in faeces and can be spread from person to person, but it’s usually caught by consuming contaminated food or water. Those traveling to places where sanitation is poor need to be especially aware of the risk of infection.
A vaccination can help to reduce the risk, but it’s also vital to be scrupulous about personal hygiene. Be careful what you eat and drink, and wash your hands after using the toilet and before handling or eating food (including ice). Vaccination consists of two doses, the second dose being a booster, given 6-12 months after the first. This booster provides LONG-TERM immunity (at least 25 years).
Malaria is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and is common in many parts of Africa, Asia, Central and South America. If you’re visiting or traveling through a country where there’s a risk of malaria, preventative measures are essential.
Antimalarial drugs don’t prevent infection, but do inhibit the parasite’s development. In some regions, the parasite is resistant to some of the drugs used. It’s therefore essential to get up-to-date, specific advice about the best antimalarial drugs for your destination.
You should start taking the tablets one to two weeks before departure, to ensure there’s no adverse reaction and to establish an adequate level of protection before exposure. Tablets must be taken as prescribed while in the malarial zone and continued for a further four to six weeks after leaving. It’s essential to finish taking the course of tablets, as the parasite can live in the body for some time after infection.
Remember, none of these precautions gives absolute protection against malaria. It’s therefore vital to know the symptoms, so you can get prompt medical attention should any appear.
Malaria usually starts as a flu-like illness. A pattern of coldness and shivering, followed by fever (38°C/100°F or more), sweating, muscle aches and headaches must be taken seriously.
If you develop a fever or feel ill while abroad or up to eight weeks after returning, seek medical attention immediately. Tell your doctor you’ve been in a country where malaria is a health risk.
This serious infection of the liver is common in many parts of the world, especially SE Asia, where up to 10% of the local population may be carriers. It’s caught via contact with contaminated blood – including sharing needles, blood transfusions or inadequately sterilised equipment – and intimate sexual contact.
Immunisation is available, especially if they’re likely to be at increased risk through work or other activities.
Vaccination consists of 3 vaccines given over a period of time (the shortest being 3 weeks, on days 0,7 and 21).
This occurs throughout south-east Asia, mainly in rural areas and is more likely during the monsoon/rainy season. It is a mosquito-borne disease and the mosquito is a daytime biting one. The disease itself causes inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and can lead to brain damage.
A vaccine is available for those who are traveling to rural areas and those with an increased risk, for example staying more than two weeks, being rural and visiting paddy fields or rice fields, where mosquitoes like to breed.
The vaccination course involves 2 vaccines given 28 days apart, and affords protection for up to 2 years.
Meningococcal meningitis is more common in some areas of Africa and Asia than in the UK. A vaccine is available to protect against some strains (ACWY). Saudi Arabia requires all pilgrims during the Hajj to be vaccinated against meningitis ACWY and to have proof of vaccination in the form of a certificate. The vaccine affords protection for 5 years.
Vaccination against poliomyelitis is usually recommended for all destinations. In the UK, the vaccine is given as an injection and it comes as a triple vaccine with tetanus and diptheria too. Booster doses are recommended every ten years.
Rabies occurs throughout the world, with most deaths taking place in developing countries, such as those in south-east Asia. In the UK, most cases occur in quarantined animals and people infected abroad.
It’s usually contracted through being bitten or scratched by an infected mammal, such as a bat, dog, cat or fox. The incubation period is normally two to eight weeks, but can be as long as two years and as short as 1 week. A vaccine is available to inoculate travelers against rabies.
Each year, 15 MILLION people need treatment for a suspected rabid exposure (normally a bite or scratch by a dog), with around 60,000 deaths per year. SE Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are “hot spots” for rabies exposure risk.
The difficulties in accessing post-exposure treatment (known as Human Rabies Immunoglobulin (HRIG)) has made the pre-exposure vaccination even more important. rabies is invariably FATAL, with less than 10 known survivors in history.
Vaccination consists of 3 vaccines given over 3-4 weeks, and affords protection for 5 years. the vaccine is not live and does not go “into the stomach”. This is often the most important vaccination consideration for backpackers and travelers to remote or rural parts of SE Asia, Africa and South America.
This disease is caught from the bite of an infected tick. It occurs in warm, forested parts of central and eastern Europe and Scandinavia, especially where there’s heavy undergrowth, and is more common in late spring and summer. This disease leads to an inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and can lead to brain damage.
Those walking or camping in such areas should wear clothing that covers most of the skin and use insect repellents. A vaccine is available and consists of 2 vaccines given three weeks apart (with a third at 1 year if needed).
If you haven’t been vaccinated against TB and staying for more than a month in eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Central or South America, you should consider a bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination. Preferably, this should be given at least two months before departure. This vaccine is usually administered at the local NHS hospital.
Vaccination isn’t necessary for short visits if you’re staying in international-style hotels. Re-vaccination isn’t necessary for those already vaccinated against TB.