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Guide to Travel Vaccination
Guide to Travel Vaccination

Your Friendly Guide to Travel Vaccination and Related Topics

Visiting new countries and places is always a fun and thrilling experience. But at the same time, it exposes you to the risk of developing diseases or illnesses that are very rare in the UK. Thankfully, modern medicine has improved a lot and is capable of taking care of your health-related obstacles to help you visit new places abroad, says Prof Sam Lingam; the executive medical director at the Medical Express Clinic. The clinic is located on Harley Street in London.

It is relevant mentioning that the Medical Express Clinic is also a reputed private travel clinic in London that provides travel vaccines.

What are travel vaccines?

Also known as travel immunisations, these are basically shots that travellers can take before travelling to certain parts of the world. These shots improve their natural immunity to protect them from some serious illnesses.

Just like any other vaccine, these immunisation vaccines  expose your body to a certain germ. As a result, your body will build up defence or immunity against the disease that the germ causes. The defence system is built up by creating antibodies in your body. You won’t develop the disease from the germ present in the vaccine because either the germ is dead or too severely weakened before being introduced into your system.

Long story short, travel vaccines are safe and reliable in protecting travellers from succumbing to many rare and uncommon diseases.

Travel vaccines come in 3 distinct types

Travel immunisations are broadly classified into 3 types, namely:

  • Routine vaccines: These are all the standard immunisations recommended for both children and adults in the UK. Examples include immunisation for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and others. Routine vaccines prove more helpful than you can imagine while travelling to foreign countries.
  • Recommended vaccines: This category of travel vaccines is likely to protect you in regions where there are high chances of contracting certain illnesses. These vaccines also prevent the spreading of diseases across countries or continents.
  • Required vaccines: In Saudi Arabia, every Haj pilgrim has to take a meningococcal vaccine. While travelling to certain regions of Africa and South America, you will need a yellow fever vaccine. These are all examples in the category of required vaccines.

which Travel vaccines should you require?

Doctors at a renowned private travel clinic in London say that apart from the 3 categories of vaccines mentioned above, there are certain travel-related illnesses that you must be aware of. Vaccination for these diseases is not covered in the vaccines mentioned previously. The diseases include:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid and Paratyphoid
  • Yellow Fever
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • Meningococcal disease

You may or may not require these vaccines. The decision is taken by your doctor based on certain factors. Perceived risk level is one of the major points of concern in this context. It is important to note that travel vaccines are not the case of one-size-fits-all. For example, a high-flying business executive, who checked in at a 5-star hotel in Bangkok won’t have the same risk profile as a college student who is travelling through the interiors of Thailand.

As a result, recommended vaccinations in both cases will be much different. Thus, a travel vaccine administrator expert plays a crucial role in selecting your travel vaccines. The selection is made on the basis of both – your itinerary and medical history.

If you suffer from any chronic health issues, then it is more than important to let the doctor know about your travel plans. Moreover, all the vaccines that you need may not also be in the stock at that time. Certain travel immunisations need to be given in a series of shots over a few days or weeks. Moreover, the vaccines need some time to kick in and work effectively. Considering all these complexities, you should visit your travel vaccine provider at least 4 to 6 weeks before your date of journey.

Travel vaccine administration experts select your recommended vaccines based on the following factors:

  • Current health condition: Certain medications, like those for diabetes, reduce the effectiveness of the travel vaccines.
  • History of immunisation: The immunisations you took in the past are also taken into account. Moreover, the doctor will also learn about the routine vaccines that you may need to have updated.
  • Detailed travel plan: Risk for certain diseases varies from one location to another even within a country. That is why your detailed travel itinerary is important in selecting your travel vaccines.

Last but not least, you must apply your common sense and practice basic hygiene while travelling. Experts associated with a clinic in London renowned for travel vaccinations share the following tips for your overall wellbeing:

  • Wash your hands well every time before you eat.
  • Follow the basic sanitation rules and properly wash your hands every time.
  • Consider carrying an alcohol-based hand gel.
  • Consume either bottled or boiled water. If none is available, go for carbonated drinks.
  • Sleep under a mosquito net to ward off insect bites.
  • Use insect repellent lotions and gels.

For more information on travel immunisation, please feel free to get in touch with the Medical Express Clinic on Harley Street.