Getting Travel Vaccines
If you are travelling abroad to a destination where you need travel vaccinations against local diseases, knowing when to get travel vaccines administered is key. If you don’t leave sufficient time for the vaccinations to become fully effective, you will still be at risk.
Plan Eight Weeks In Advance
If you are going to be travelling to foreign countries, you need to plan ahead, and knowing when to get travel vaccines is an essential part of that planning. The clinic here at Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall recommends that you should do this planning eight weeks before your departure date.
Eight weeks might sound like a long time, but depending on which vaccinations you need, you could have to wait six before they are fully effective. Eight weeks allows you time to research what vaccinations you need and book an appointment at a clinic or your GP surgery to have the vaccine(s) administered.
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When To Get Travel Vaccines Administered
Here is a brief summary of the main vaccinations you could need and the time frames for having them administered:
- Cholera – two injected doses needed. Between one and six weeks apart. Final dose at least 1 week prior to departure.
- Hepatitis A – two injected doses needed. Between six and twelve months apart. You can travel after the first dose. First dose ideally should be administered one week before you travel.
- Japanese encephalitis – three injected doses needed. Have the first dose administered a minimum of one month before your travel. The second dose should be administered 1 week after the first, and the third one month after.
- Meningococcal meningitis – single injected dose at least two weeks before you are due to travel.
- Rabies – three injected doses needed – All doses should be administered one week apart, so allow four weeks prior to travel. This vaccination does not prevent rabies but it makes treatment for the disease simpler.
- Typhoid – either as a single injection or a course of pills. If in pill form, you should take each pill two days apart, so allow 1 week prior to departure.
- Yellow fever – a single dose injection at least one week prior to departure.
Usually transmitted by water contaminated by faeces and shellfish and contaminated food. There is an incubation period of 1-5 days and then onset of rapid diarrhoea, extreme vomiting and dehydration can occur. Travellers living in poor sanitary conditions should avoid using tap water under any circumstances and ensure all food is well cooked and eaten piping hot.
Tetanus spores are present in soil contaminated with bird, animal or human faeces and are widely distributed in the environment. Infection is a result of the spores entering a wound at the time of injury. The incubation period is 4-21 days and symptoms include general rigidity and spasms of the skeletal muscles which can be fatal.
Polio is contracted from person to person contact through the faecal-oral route (contaminated food and water). Incubation is 7-14 days and with symptoms including fever and mild illness, such as headache and sore throat to flaccid paralysis in rare cases. Minor illness can be followed by remission and severe illness.
Diphtheria is contracted though respiratory contact of items soiled by an infected person. Incubation is 2-5 days and it causes a characteristic acute infection of the tonsils, pharynx, larynx or nose.
Transmitted by contaminated water and food, particularly shellfish and person to person contact where hygiene is poor, Incubation is 2-6 weeks with no symptoms and then a sudden onset of mild fever, upset stomach, rash, nausea, vomiting followed by jaundice, at which stage patients begin to feel better.
Transmitted person to person by exposure to bodily fluids (e.g. via occupational exposure, open wounds, sexual contact and newborn infant from mother, contaminated medical, dental and acupuncture instruments, sharing used intra-venous needles and body piercing and tattoo instruments). Infection can be more severe and results in symptoms similar to Hepatitis A with jaundice and hepatitis resulting from liver cell destruction.
It is transmitted to man by the bite of an infected mosquito that normally breeds in rice paddies. The illnesscauses a fever, headache, convulsions, encephalitis and meningitis and especially cranial nerve paralysis. Prolonged recovery and post viral debility are common. Many who recover are left with disabilities. There is no effective anti-viral therapy and treatment is symptomatic.
Transmitted by a mosquito bite, the infected insect releases a parasite into your bloodstream, the parasite then multiplies in the bloodstream. Symptoms are flu like including chills, fever, pain, weakness, muscle aches, abdominal pain, vomiting, cough and diarrhea. Treatable if diagnosed quickly, however it can be fatal.
Transmitted by person to person via airborne particles. Incubation is 2-10 days with symptoms including a sudden onset of fever, intense nausea, headache, sensitivity to light and vomiting. Other symptoms include a stiff neck and a non-blanching rash.
The disease is transmitted by saliva from a rabid animal through a bite or scratch. Incubation is usually from 5-60 days, but can take much longer. Symptoms include fever, headache, malaise and fatigue. Anxiety depression, agitation and insomnia may also be reported which can develop into hyperactivity, disorientation, hallucination, seizures and bizarre behaviour.
Transmitted by the bite of an infected ixodes tick or less commonly, spread by the ingestion of unpasteurised milk for infected animals such as goats. Incubation is 3-14 days. Symptoms can include a flu-like illness that resolves within a few days in the western subtype. The Eastern subtype symptoms includes sudden onset of sever illness including sudden onset of severe headache, fever, nausea and photophobia.
Transmitted through respiratory contact (infected sputum). Infectious patients may be asymptomatic until advanced stages of the disease when symptoms include lethargy, loss of weight, poor appetite, fever, a productive cough and night sweats.
Transmitted by contaminated water and food, where hygiene is poor and food and drink may be contaminated with human faces or urine. Symptoms include fever, headache, confusion, vague abdominal pain and constipation with red spots occurring on body.
Chicken Pox is a highly infectious disease caused by the herpes varicella zoster virus. The virus is common a childhood infection and therefore 90% of adults in the UK are immune. A Varicella Antibodies test is usually required beforehand and if negative the course of vaccines can be administered.
Transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito. Two outbreaks types exist: Jungle yellow fever is spread by monkeys and humans become infected in jungle habitat. They in turn can become a source of urban yellow fever outbreaks. Incubation is 3-5 days and the blood remains infected and can be spread by mosquitos biting other humans or monkeys and in turn spreading infection. Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, backache, generalized muscle pain, prostration, nausea and vomiting
Here at Broadgate Travel Clinic London City we can also advise you about diseases for which there are no travel vaccines, such as malaria. We can provide appropriate expert advice, and offer you malaria protection tablets to help to ward off infection. You will not however have total immunity. International travel doesn’t need to be marred by uncertainty and disease; simply visit the Broadgate Travel Immunisation Clinic and get the information you need ahead of time.
Wherever you’re traveling to, our competitive rates and travel expertise will help to ensure that you’re protected from before you leave until you’re safely home. We are a NaTHNaC registered Yellow Fever Centre. Broadgate’s travel clinic is your essential vaccination guide for traveling abroad, whereby you can rest assured that our travel vaccinations advice supports safe globetrotting.
In addition to offering immediate travel vaccinations, our travel clinic also provide immunisation certificates by way of offering proof to local authorities in the countries of destination, that you have been fully immunised. If you would like more information about your destination & travel requirements, contact our London Travel Clinic today on 020 7638 4330. Call us today for your same day travel vaccination appointment. If you travel by car (home or abroad) and you would like some suggestions for a basic car first aid kit.
If time is of the essence, you can avoid delayed waiting times for appointment by using the walk-in clinic services we offer here at Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall. You can also get travel vaccination advice from our clinic too. Vaccination certificates available if required.