ADVICE FOR TRAVELLERS
The NHS does not fund travel services but offers a comprehensive web-site, giving the information you need to identify any vaccines advised for trips abroad. This can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
The following vaccinations if required are free of charge on the NHS:
Diphtheria, tetanus & polio (combined)
These can be administered by a nurse at this surgery. They are not always needed as you may already be covered by recent vaccination.
Other vaccinations may be necessary for more exotic or unusual destinations, complex travel itineraries, or long stay vacations. These need to be given at a high street travel clinic (e.g. Nomad, Masta, Sta Travel, Bath Clinic) and are not available on the NHS.
We also provide private prescriptions for Malaria tablets (prescription cost £15, Malaria tablets can also be bought online through https://www.simpleonlinepharmacy.co.uk ) and Cholera tablets (prescription cost £15.75). A course of Hepatitis B vaccinations is available, but check with surgery for availability before booking appointment. (Hep B vaccinations costs £45 per vaccination, x3 vaccinations for upfront payment of £125, or x4 accelerated vaccinations for upfront payment of £160)
Check your requirements at least three months before travel as sometimes a course of up to three vaccinations needs to be given over the course of several weeks.
It is your responsibility to determine which vaccinations and, if relevant, anti-malaria tablets you need.
To do this, you should visit the NHS Fit For Travel website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk to read the information relevant to the country you are visiting.
Follow these simple steps:
1. Select the country you are visiting from the ‘destinations’ box on the left.
2. Read the ‘Advice for all travellers’ information, following links in blue. This will give you detailed information about health risks abroad such as insect bites, sun-exposure, contaminated food and drink. Also advice is given about visas and health insurance.
3. Note the ‘Courses or boosters usually advised’. If you have a record of your immunisations/vaccinations at home, see if you are up-to-date with the recommended vaccines.
Hepatitis A – if you have had two vaccinations, you are covered for 25 years (from the date of the second dose)
Diphtheria, tetanus and polio – booster required every 10 years (for travel purposes only)
Typhoid – booster required every 3 years (for travel purposes only)
Please be aware that it is not good for the immune system to unnecessarily have vaccinations more frequently than this. If you are unsure of when you had any previous vaccinations, you can ask for a printout of your vaccinations history.
The ‘vaccinations sometimes advised’ section usually relates to back-packers, people travelling for more the 4 weeks, or special situations, e.g. working in health care projects, or with animals. If you are planning such a trip you need to make arrangements to have these at a high street travel clinic.
4. If you think that you need any of the vaccinations provided by the NHS, (in bold above) make a 30 minute appointment with the nurse, bringing with you a printout of the relevant Fit For Travel information.
5. Read the information about malaria, Zika virus and Dengue fever and follow the ‘precautions’ link. If anti-malaria tablets are advised for your destination, there will be a link to a ‘malaria map’ which will show the details of the risk for your destination.
The site will also indicate which anti-malaria tablets are effective in that region.
If proguanil and/or chloroquine are advised, these can be brought over the counter at a pharmacy. (Check as they do not always have it in stock).
If Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone) or doxycycline or mefloguine (Lariam) are recommended, read through the information carefully, and go to buy your supply at one of the following:
• High street travel clinic e.g. Nomad, Masta, Sta Travel, Bath clinic, Simple online pharmacy
• Supermarket e.g. ASDA, Sainsburys
• Pharmacy e.g. Boots
You will need to book an appointment with them prior to visiting them.
These need to be started before entering a malaria area, continued during the trip and for a period of time after leaving, so you need to plan ahead.
6. Read the entire section ‘other health risks’ which contains further up-to-date information about your travel destination, inclusing current outbreasks, risk, etc.
TRAVEL SAFELY AND ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY