Tips & Tricks: Travel Vaccinations

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Before travelling to a foreign country, it's so important to check that you're vaccinated against any diseases that you may encounter on your trip. Most countries will have a list of vaccines that you absolutely should have before visiting. There will then be a separate list of vaccinations that aren't a 100% necessity, but might be a wise idea if you want to be completely covered. 

However, knowing which vaccinations you need can sometimes be a challenge when you're overloaded with statistics and medical jargon. This post won't go into specific details about what you need for your next trip, but it will give you a few tips to make the process a lot less stressful.



1. Timing
When it comes to travel vaccinations, timing is incredibly important. You'll want to start researching which jabs you might need about three months in advance. This is because some vaccinations require you to have a course of injections over a set period of time. For example, rabies and hepatitis B require a course of 3 injections. 

2. Do your own research
There are so many resources available online to help you decide which vaccinations you could need. The UK has NHS approved websites such as Fit For Travel and Travel Health Pro that have guides for each individual country, including maps of where vaccinations could be needed for specific regions. 

Take a look online to see which diseases you might encounter on your trip before you book an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic. Knowledge is power! This way you can go to an appointment loaded with information, and you can even question the advice given to you if you're unsure. 



3. Get more than one opinion
My biggest piece of advice would be to speak to more than one doctor or nurse about your upcoming trip. It's surprising how they can give out different information! Speak to as many different people and do enough research until you're completely satisfied.

For example, I'm visiting Peru later on this year, one doctor told me to take altitude sickness pills and not malaria tablets, whereas a different doctor told me the complete opposite. 

4. Shop around for different vaccination prices
One thing that I recently discovered is that there isn't a set price for travel vaccinations. They can vary in price depending on where you go for the exact same vaccine. (Note: I'm speaking from my experience within the UK)

My doctor recently quoted me £70 for the yellow fever jab, whereas Boots Pharmacy only charge £58. Another doctor also gave me the price of £205 for the course of three rabies vaccines, whereas my normal GP and Boots Pharmacy only charge £155. Also make sure that any vaccinations aren't already free on the NHS (e.g. Hepatitis A and Cholera) as this could save you a ton of money. It really does pay to shop around!

Do you have any other tips or tricks for getting travel vaccinations?

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