Passport, tickets, insurance, funky new flip-flops. There is so much to remember when you’re getting ready to go on holiday, it is almost inevitable that something will get forgotten. We have all been there, waiting in the airport and it suddenly dawns on you that you’ve left your new sunhat on the kitchen table or your toothbrush is still in the bathroom cabinet. Thankfully airports cover all the bases when it comes to picking up last minute bits and bobs, whether you needed them or not! There’s not much you can’t buy in the vast array of shops, so it really isn’t the end of the world if you have forgotten something. Unless of course, you’ve forgotten your travel vaccinations.
Travel vaccinations before you fly
Arranging your holiday vaccinations prior to travelling is absolutely essential and should be right at the top of your checklist. However, in the grand scheme of exciting things that need to be done pre-holiday, jabs do tend to get left to the last minute.
Aside from the fact that many of the diseases that you need to be vaccinated against are potentially life threatening, there is also the risk that you simply will not be allowed into the country without evidence that you’ve had the necessary immunisation. In some cases, you may be required to produce an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) before you can enter the country.
Ideally, contact your GP at least eight weeks before you intend to travel for advice about the vaccinations that you will need to suit your travel needs. For example, if you are backpacking in rural areas, working in a medical setting or with animals, you will be at a much higher risk of being exposed to certain diseases than if you are staying in a hotel on a package holiday. Some vaccinations will need to be administered in several doses so you really need to make sure that you give yourself enough time to complete the course.
The majority of vaccinations come at a charge, regardless whether you see a private GP or not, plus there are certain jabs that are only available privately so it really is worth having a full consultation with your GP to ensure you are well prepared for your travels. It really isn’t worth the risk of waiting weeks for an available appointment on the NHS to find that they do not carry specific vaccinations for the countries you are travelling to.
Some people maybe in a position where it isn’t advisable to have certain vaccinations, for example:
- If you are pregnant
- If you are on specific medication
- If have a condition that affects your body’s immune system such as HIV
- If you are receiving chemotherapy or have recently had a bone marrow or organ transplant.
A private GP will be able to advise you properly about what vaccinations will suit your condition. In situations where you have specific health issues that may restrict the vaccinations you can have, it would be worth having a private consultation prior to booking your trip to determine whether some destinations are best avoided altogether.
Arranging vaccinations can be a really simple process if you do it via your GP, giving you will have more time to focus on the fun side of holiday planning such as bikini shopping and choosing the perfect beach read. Contact us for more information.