Aim for an appointment to see the Practice Nurse at least 6 weeks before travelling if you can. This gives a chance to have all the vaccines you need. If you are travelling at short notice, we can administer an accelerated programme though this is not so satisfactory.
Which jabs are free?
- When booking your appointment, tell the receptionist you are coming for travel jabs or book online in the correct slot.
- People working abroad, especially aid workers, may require extra immunisations.
- If you originally come from the country you are visiting, it is likely your immunity will have worn off so it is important to be vaccinated.
Diphtheria/Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis : are all available free of charge.
Yellow Fever, Meningitis A&C or ACWY, Hepatitis B and Rabies are chargeable (see fees for private services). Certificates are included.
Japanese B Encephalitis vaccine is only available privately from Masta. How long do they last?
Dip/Tet and Polio may require a booster every 10 years for travellers to certain areas.
Heptatitis A requires a booster vaccine 6-12 months after the first, then lasts 25 years.
Hepatitis B is an initial course of 3 injections and health workers will need a booster after 5 years. a blood test indicates protection level
Typhoid lasts 3 years.
Yellow fever lasts a lifetime.
Don’t forget to take malaria tablets
– these are not available on the NHS and need to be bought from a pharmacy. Some require a private prescription
, some not: there is a fee for any necessary private prescription.
The Nurse will tell you which combination you’ll need – there may be seasonal changes. Though vitally important, the tablets do not offer complete protection so also take mosquito protection measures (mosquito netting, repellents, long sleeves, sprays and vapouriser, all of which help to some extent). All children will require protection and reduced dose vaccines and malaria prevention are available.
Taking medication with you on holiday
It is the your responsibility to establish the rules for your destination, airline and any country they are travelling through. These may all be different and can be surprising!
Please remember to check both prescribed AND over-the-counter medications. (In some areas, common over-the-counter medications such as nasal decongestant inhalers (eg VICKS) and cough linctus are banned.) You should check well in advance:
- Local regulations (e.g. in Turkey, China and Singapore) may require you to get a licence for carriage of ANY personal medication.
- They may need you to get a signed doctor’s letter and to get this translated by an authorised body for any medication to be carried.
Even travelling within Europe may require some care if you are using controlled drugs:
Essential advice on travelling with controlled drugs.If you require a letter for travel
- Government advice is that a patient MUST be able to prove controlled medication belongs to them to travel into or out of the UK.
- This requires a letter outlining use and countersigned by ‘the person who prescribed the drugs’.
- If carrying more than 3 months’ supply, you will also need a Home Office licence.
, this is not an NHS service and is chargeable (see current fees).
Please request this from reception. You must provide the following information:
• The name of the patient/s travelling and passport number/s (each person will require a separate letter).
• Travel plans – dates of travel to each destination, including flight details and the return date to the UK.
• The prescribed medication required (the names of the prescribed drugs, the dose and total quantity needed for the duration of your travel.
• Whether the medication will be required DURING the flight.
Requests for extra supplies of regular medication
We are allowed to supply NHS medication for a maximum of 3 months’ travel
, so if going for longer, you will need to ensure a source of medication whilst away, so please let us know in good time. The NHS entitles you to a supply of enough of your regular medication to get to the destination and then you must find an alternative supply of that medication abroad.
GPs are not responsible for the prescribing of ‘just in case’ items for conditions which may arise while abroad or traveling.