Taking steps to remain healthy whilst you are on holiday can be quite complex, especially if you are travelling to tropical area all parts of the world where formal healthcare is difficult to access.
Thankfully, there are very helpful and accurate websites which can give you the most up-to-date information about how to remain healthy on holiday; what immunisations you require and which medication you may need to have with you.
If you require travel vaccinations it is important to start having these at least 6 weeks before travel, as many do not offer you adequate protection if given too close to the date of your trip.
We suggest you think about:
- Travel insurance and taking your EHIC card with you (if you have travelling to a European country)
- Sun protection
- Insect bite repellents
- Travel immunisations
- Anti-malarial tablets
In addition, please remember if you are taking regular medication because of other health needs, to take an adequate supply of tablets with you and a list of your medication should you run out.
International law permits you to travel with medication without a doctor's note unless this medication is a Class A type formulation. (Morphine, tramadol, opiate patches, and amphetamine-type medication). Our reception staff can help you with a letter if you need it.
Getting NHS Vaccinations from the Surgery
To find out what travel immunisations and malaria tablets you need please visit the www.fitfortravel.co.uk website. This provides the same information which NHS professionals use to decide which vaccinations you need. You will need to have a copy of your previous immunisations, as many travel vaccinations are identical to the once you receive as a child and young adult through the NHS immunisation program. Please ask reception for this. The website tells you which immunisations are free on NHS and which are private and will need to be given at a specialist travel clinic.
Please note, if you have had 5 tetanus injections in your life (many of us have), it is rarely necessary to have a booster.
Once you have worked out the immunisations you need, please book to see our practice nurses, and bring your information with you.
These are the vaccinations that are available on the NHS and their booster requirements
Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (combined vaccination)
- Is effective 1-2 weeks after the 3rd dose
- If a traveller has had five doses in a lifetime then they are assumed protected for life. If the vaccination history is uncertain and it is more than 10 years since the last dose a booster is recommended. For some countries it is advisable to have a booster if it is more than ten years since the last dose regardless of how many vaccinations you have received.
- Is effective 1-2 weeks after injection
- Injectable typhoid vaccination lasts for 3 years then a booster is required
- Effective after 2 weeks but the average incubation period for Hepatitis A is 28 days so it is useful to have this even at short notice
- After the first dose a booster should be given 6-12months later. However it can be safely delayed for up to five years. From the second dose protection will last at least 25 years.
(Please note that there are sometimes problems with supplies to surgeries and so you may have to arrange for some of these vaccinations to be done at a travel clinic, this is a national problem)
Non NHS Vaccines
If you require other vaccinations not available on the NHS (Rabies, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal ACWY, Tick borne encephalitis, yellow fever) you will be required to attend a travel clinic and pay a private fee.
The easiest and quickest way to obtain anti-malaria medication is to do this on line through a pharmacy or medical website. We recommend you using www.drfox.co.uk
A good atlas or online atlas e.g. www.maps.google.co.uk
Recommended websites for travellers
If you'd like to down load a word version of this advice click on the link below
Travelling in Europe
If you are travelling to Europe a very useful booklet has been published with advice and guidance to help you get the most out of your holiday. To visit please click:- http://ec.europa.eu/publications/booklets/eu_glance/86/en.pdf (this is a large document and may take a minute or two to view)