For the first time ever I have had to get travel vaccinations and honestly, they’re not as bad as I thought they would be.
As if I haven’t mentioned it enough, for my Bali trip I had to take a trip to the doctors to make sure I had the correct vaccinations. As I’d never done it before I was a little unsure on the process beforehand, so I decided to create a little guide to getting yours done.
Don’t worry, they don’t hurt at all…
A Guide to Getting your Travel Vaccinations
? Where to go to get your vaccinations
It is recommended that you seek advice at least 8 weeks before you due to go on your trip, as some jabs need to be done at least that far in advance.
As all doctors are different, the best place to start is by calling your local surgery to find out if your current jabs are up to date, or if you haven’t had any at all.
? Booking your appointment
With lots of different options for your regular appointments and medication available, such as using an online pharmacy, popping into your local doctors or popping to the chemist – it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to booking your appointment.
Not all vaccinations are free on the NHS, but after a quick phone consultation they will be able to tell you which ones you need and how much they cost. For Bali I only needed Hepatitus A, Thyphoid and Tetanus, none of which cost me a penny.
Once you have had your telephone consultation the doctor will arrange an appointment with you the best time for you to pop in and have the vaccinations.
It only takes around 10-15 minutes for the entire appointment as when you’re there you have to answer a couple of questions, have the jabs and you’re on your way. ✈️
? What vaccinations do you need?
This will also tell you whether or not you need to show proof of vaccination upon entry to the country, which is available from your GP if you need it.
? Things to consider
The countries you are visiting – make sure you know which diseases are more common in the countries you’re visiting.
How long you’re going to be travelling for – the longer you’re staying in a country that is at risk, the more chance you have of being exposed to viruses.
Where you will be staying while you’re there – in general, you are more at risk in rural areas than urban ones. If you’re backpacking/camping, you’re at a much higher risk then if you are staying in a hotel.
The time of year you are travelling – some diseases may be more common at certain times of the year. During the ‘rainy’ season is a common time.
The activities you’ll be doing while there – if you are going to be outdoors or trekking for the majority of your trip, you’ll be more at risk.
Whether or not you will be in contact with animals – again, this will increase your risk of contracting a diseases.
? What jabs will I need to pay for?
The following vaccinations are not free on the NHS:
- hepatitis B
- Japanese and tick-borne encephalitis
- meningitis vaccines
- tuberculosis (TB)
- yellow fever
Depending on where you are visiting, or what your plans are while you’re traveling, you may need to purchase some of the above. For example, if I was getting a tattoo in Bali I would need to get Hepatitis B.
So, there you have it – my mini guide to getting your travel vaccinations. Don’t forget this is just from my experience and research and if you have any questions you should get in touch with your GP.