If you are going abroad, make sure your routine immunisations are up to date. You may also need extra immunisations.
Contact your doctor’s surgery or a travel clinic at least six weeks in advance for up-to-date information on the immunisations you may need, or visit Fit for Travel (external link).
Courses of most travel vaccines can be given over a four-week period, but more time will be needed if a course of the DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccine has to be given.
If you find that you have less time before departure, it is still worth attending a clinic to make sure you get as much protection as possible, as well as information about reducing the risks of ill health abroad.
You may need to be immunised against other diseases such as yellow fever, and have a vaccination certificate as proof, before you can enter some countries. The certificate becomes valid and effective ten days after the vaccination is given.
Watch out for malaria
Malaria is a serious infection that you can catch from mosquito bites. It can be a major problem in tropical countries. If you are travelling to an area where there is malaria, you will need protection.
There isn’t an immunisation against malaria, but your doctor will be able to give you advice on taking antimalarial drugs. Anti-malarial drugs do not provide complete protection, but are important when travelling to some parts of the world.
Avoiding mosquito bites
Do all you can to prevent yourself and others from getting bitten by mosquitoes:
- During the day and night, use clothes that cover the arms and legs.
- Use insect repellent on the skin and a mosquito net soaked in insecticide.