Vaccines help protect travellers from infectious diseases or illnesses.  

Depending on where you’re planning to go, there might be recommendations about the immunisations you’ll need before travelling. Sometimes, you might need to get vaccinated before you’re allowed a visa.  

Making sure you get the proper vaccinations not only helps keep you healthy - it makes sure you don’t bring any serious diseases home to your friends and family in the UK.  

We’ve put together a list of some of the most common vaccines for travellers to help you prepare for your trip, and explain how they can help keep you well.  



Revaxis  diphtheria, tetanus and polio  

Revaxis helps protect against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Thanks to the vaccination programme, occurrences have been massively reduced in the UK.  

When do you need it?
 

Diphtheria, tetanus and polio are still common in areas of the world with low immunisation levels.  

Diphtheria and polio are widespread in parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as Eastern Europe, the South Pacific and other countries.  

Because tetanus is caught through cuts and injuries, you’ll need to be properly protected if you’re travelling to an area with limited medical supplies or facilities.  

What is it for?
 

Most children in the UK are immunised against diphtheria, tetanus and polio. The Revaxis vaccine acts as a booster if you’re travelling to any of the high-risk areas mentioned above, or you’re undertaking high-risk activities like getting a tattoo or piercing.  

- Diphtheria is highly contagious and can be spread through coughing and sneezing. It’s a bacterial infection and some symptoms include a high temperature, sore throat and difficulty breathing. 
- Tetanus is bacteria that gets into your body through areas of broken skin like cuts, piercings or burns. It causes symptoms including lockjaw, high fever and rapid heartbeat. 
- Polio is a viral infection which has no cure. It’s spread through the faeces of someone with the disease. In most cases there are no symptoms, but some people may experience flu-like symptoms. 


Twinrix – Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B 

The Twinrix vaccination helps to prevent both hepatitis A and hepatitis B infections.  

When do you need it? 

If you’re travelling to areas where hepatitis A and B is endemic, the Twinrix vaccination is recommended. 

Some areas with a high-risk of hepatitis A include parts of Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, South America and parts of Eastern Asia.  

Hepatitis B is a high-risk in areas like Central and Southern Africa, South America, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Pacific Islands and Eastern and Central Europe.  

What is it for? 

Hepatitis A infects the liver, causing inflammation and, in rare cases, liver failure.  

Some symptoms include:  
- A fever, joint and muscle pain, dark urine, nausea or vomiting and a loss of appetite.  

The infection can be spread through contaminated food and water, including shellfish cooked in water, sexual contact with someone who has the disease, or injecting drugs with contaminated syringes. 

Just like hepatitis A, hepatitis B is an infection of the liver. Some people don’t experience any symptoms of hepatitis B, but those who do will see them two to three months after exposure.  

Some symptoms include:  
- Nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, jaundice and flu-like symptoms 

Hepatitis B is spread through blood and bodily fluids. This means unprotected sex, having a tattoo or medical procedure in an unhygienic environment and sharing needles can all cause hepatitis B.  


Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine 

The Japanese encephalitis vaccine helps to protect against the infectious disease. Although cases are rare in travellers, visiting high-risk areas or taking part in activities like hiking and camping put you in danger.  

When do you need it? 

Because Japanese encephalitis comes from animals like pigs and birds and is then spread to humans through mosquito bites, the disease is most common in rural areas.  

Countries affected stretch throughout Asia and beyond, from the Pacific Islands to the borders of Pakistan, and parts of Russia and the North Coast of Australia. 

You should still try to avoid getting mosquito bites while travelling to affected areas even if you have had the vaccination. Doing things like wearing clothes that cover your skin and sleeping under mosquito nets will help you to avoid mosquito bites.  

What is it for? 

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that affects the brain, and there’s currently no cure.  

Some symptoms include:  
- Seizures, a high temperature, losing the ability to speak, confusion and muscle weakness and paralysis 

Once infected, symptoms can take up to 15 days to appear.  

Rabies Vaccine 

Rabies is a rare disease, but it can be fatal if it’s not treated fast enough. Rabies is found throughout the world - although in the UK, it’s only found in a small number of wild bats.  

When do you need it? 

If you’re travelling to an area where there’s a high risk of rabies, or medical facilities are hard to get to quickly, you should consider getting the rabies vaccine. 

It’s also important if you plan to work with animals while you travel. 

Most of Western Europe is rabies-free. Countries with high instances of the disease include China, India and Democratic Republic of Congo. Travellers to South America, African and Asia should also be particularly cautious.  

What is it for? 

Rabies is an infection that affects the brain and nerves. It’s usually caught through a scratch or bite from an infected animal, but symptoms only develop around 3-12 weeks afterwards. 

Some symptoms include:  
- A fever, headaches, feeling anxious, confusion and aggressive behaviour, hallucinations, frothing from the mouth and paralysis.  


Typhoid Fever Vaccine 

Vaccinations for typhoid fever can be injected or taken orally. The disease is commonly found in areas where it’s difficult to access clean water. And it’s thought that children are most at risk of catching typhoid fever.  

When do you need it? 

If you’re travelling to parts of the world where sanitation is poor and typhoid fever is common, being vaccinated will help to protect you - especially if you plan to live there or work with the local people.  

Some high-risk areas include Africa, Southern Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Central America and the Indian sub-continent.  

The typhoid fever vaccination can help to keep you protected against the infection, but you’ll still need totake precautions to only drink bottled water and eat food you know was prepared in a safe and clean environment as the vaccine is not 100% effective. 

What is it for? 

Typhoid fever is a contagious bacterial infection caused by the Salmonella typhi bacterium.  

This isn’t the type of Salmonella that causes food poisoning – the disease is spread through the stools of an infected person and contaminated water supplies.  

Some symptoms include:  
- Diarrhoea or constipation, stomach pain, a high temperature, and headaches 

If the disease isn’t treated quickly, it can cause complications which can be fatal.  


Meningitis ACWY – Meningococcal diseases 

This vaccine helps to prevent meningitis types ACWY, and septicaemia. Recently, the vaccine was introduced for university students in the UK, but it’s also necessary for some travellers to be vaccinated.  

When do you need it? 

These diseases thrive in overcrowded areas. Because of this, you need to show a certificate of vaccination to be granted a visa if you’re travelling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.   

What is it for? 

The meningitis vaccine helps protect against meningococcal bacteria which can lead to meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia).   

Some symptoms include:  
- Drowsiness, a fever, severe muscle pain or neck stiffness, diarrhoea and vomiting 

If septicaemia develops, a rash of small red pinpricks might develop. This type of rash doesn't disappear when you apply pressure to it. 

Pressing a clear glass against the rash can help you know if the rash is a sign of meningitis or septicaemia - if the rash doesn't fade under pressure then it's important to get urgent medical care. 

 

If you’re travelling to a high-risk area for leisure, work or any other reason, we offer single vaccinations and multiple vaccinations for travellers.  

Speak to one of our consultants well in advance of your trip so you have the time to get the vaccinations you need.