Introduction to Travel Vaccinations
Travelling to certain parts of the world can expose you to risk of serious infections and so it is important to ensure you are protected before you leave the UK.
What are Travel Vaccinations?
Travelling to certain parts of the world can expose you to risk of serious infections and so it is important to ensure you are protected before you leave the UK. Common vaccinations include those against yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A. The childhood vaccination programme in the UK will ensure you are protected against a broad range of infections but may not be up to date. They also do not cover many of the diseases found abroad, so you need to contact your GP to find out what vaccinations you will need. The particular vaccinations you have depend on where you are going, for how long and the time of year. Vaccinations will often have long courses, and so preparations should be made at least 2 months in advance, to ensure you will finish the course before you leave.
How are Travel Vaccinations performed?
The clinician will take a medical history prior to administering any vaccinations, and it is important to inform him/her if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a condition or medication that may compromise your immune system.
If it is deemed appropriate the clinician will then administer the vaccination and then advise you as to any effects it may have and what you can do about them. This is important as certain vaccine types involve using a less potent form of an infectious organism to give you long-term immunity. You may experience mild symptoms of illness in the short term but you will have resistance to the infection proper.
How to prepare for Travel Vaccinations?
Ensure you have the details of your travel on hand before you consult your GP since many factors determine what you will need. These include some obvious considerations, such as country(s) you are visiting, the time of year, and for how long you will be staying since these factors will influence the risk of you encountering the infection. Other details such as what you’ll be doing during your stay, the likelihood you will be in contact with animals and whether you will be working in a medical setting is also important and your practitioner will want to know this information. Some parts of the world such as central Europe, Australia and North America are low risk regions and may not require vaccinations.
Additionally while the clinician is taking a medical history it is important to inform him/her if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a condition or medication that may compromise your immune system.
What happens after receiving Travel Vaccinations?
After the procedure you may experience irritation at the site of the injection. Additionally, depending on the type of injection you received you may experience some mild symptoms as described above.