Which vaccinations and boosters do I need?
The vaccines on the national vaccination schedule help to protect you from infections which could affect you or your children in the UK. Everyone in the UK should have these vaccinations as standard when they are growing up.
When you travel abroad, you often need additional vaccinations to protect yourself from infections which pose a threat in other parts of the world. Which vaccinations you need depends on where you are going and the time of the year of your trip.
When should I see a travel nurse?
You should arrange to see a travel nurse at least six weeks before you are planning to leave the UK, as some vaccinations require more than one injection, over the course of several weeks. Your travel nurse can advise you on which vaccines you need. Most travel vaccines are suitable for small children but there are some age restrictions to consider. If you are planning a trip with your baby or toddler, make sure you consult a doctor or travel nurse well in advance of your departure.
Every year, the NHS estimates that almost one in four British holidaymakers will travel without getting vaccinated properly, meaning that they’re exposed to all sorts of life-threatening infectious diseases. Travelling without immunisation will also put others at risk, too, as if you bring an infection back to the UK with you, you could pass it on quite easily to the people around you at work or in the home.
However late in the game it is, make sure you do all that you can to avoid getting sick abroad by going to speak to your GP or someone at a local Superdrug Travel Clinic about your vaccine options.
Travel vaccinations at a glance:
|Vaccine||Vaccination schedule||Booster||Who Needs It?||Age restriction||How much will it cost me?|
|Yellow Fever||1 dose given at least 10 days before travel||every 10 years||Advised if going to countries at risk or when requiring a yellow fever certificate.||from 9 months can be used from 6 months if there is a high risk of exposure||from £58 per dose|
|Hepatitis A||1 dose||having a 2nd dose between 6-12 months later give you immunity for 20 years||When visiting risk countries||from 12 months||from £49 per dose|
|Japanese Encephalitis||2 doses in total: 1 dose each on the 1st and 28th day||every 2 years||When visiting risk areas; the risk depends on the time of year, with an increased risk during rainy seasons and especially in rural areas||from 2 months||from £89 per dose|
|Cholera||2 doses in total: 1 dose each on the first day and at 1-6 weeks||every 2 years||When going to an area with poor sanitation, including slum areas, refugee camps and areas following natural disaster; also recommended for travel to rural areas in developing countries||from age 2||from £28 per dose|
|Meninigitis ACWY||1 dose, 2 doses if under 1 year old)||every 5 years, or 3 years||Advised if going to countries at risk and mixing closely with local population; compulsory for the Hajj pilgrimage||Suitable from 3 months||from £70 per dose|
|Rabies||3 doses in total: 1 dose each on the 1st, 7th and 21st or 28th day||every 10 years||Advised if going to risk countries, if likely to come into contact with animals or if staying for long periods of time. Also recommended when going to a rural area without easy access to medical care.||from 1 month||from £55 per dose|
|Hepatitis B||Three injections, separated by a number of months - check with your travel nurse for details.||if you’re at high risk of Hepatitis B, then you’ll need a booster jab 5 years after primary immunisation||When going for a long or permanent stay; recommended for people who are at risk of needing hospital treatment while abroad (for example due to chronic illnesses)||from birth, if there is a high risk of infection||from £40 per dose|
|Typhoid||1 dose||every 3 years||Advised if going to countries at risk.||from 2 years, if there is a high risk of infection from 12 months||from £30 per dose|
|Tick Borne Encephalitis||3 doses, the second is given 1 - 3 months after the first and the third is given one year after the first; you should get the second dose at least one week before you travel||every 3 years||Advised if going to countries at risk, especially when going to forested areas.||Suitable from 12 months||from £65 per dose|
|Combined hep A / hep B vaccine||3 doses in total, given at 0, 1 and 6 months||check with your travel nurse||When travelling to hep A risk countries or at risk of hep B||from 12 months||from £67 per dose|
If you are travelling to a risk area for malaria, you need to take malaria tablets with you. Depending on where you are going, you can choose between Lariam, Malarone and Doxycycline.
Stay safe on your holidays:
- make sure you and your children have received all boosters listed on the national child vaccine schedule
- choose the food and drink you consume carefully to avoid food poisoning and other infections
- choose a comprehensive travel insurance
- take a European Health Insurance Card with you - it is free and it makes you eligible for medical treatment for free or at a reduced fee when travelling within the EU
- research your destination and pack everything you need to stay safe - from sunscreen to insect repellent
Visit your local Superdrug Travel Clinic - See a Specialist Nurse
We’re here to keep you protected from even the rarest of diseases. Nearly all Superdrug Travel clinics are registered Yellow Fever centres, prescribe anti-malarial tablets, and offer travel vaccines against all sorts of unusual illnesses like Japanese Encephalitis. Wherever it is you’re going, let us know, and we’re sure to have the vaccines you need. Our specialist travel nurses are always happy to help.
Superdrug Travel Clinics also pride themselves on being able to offer a premium travel healthcare service that’s local and affordable for everyone. Take a look at our local clinic pages to read about the specialist nurses who’ll be giving you your complete travel healthcare services and to get directions to your nearest clinic.