This is something I have been thinking about back in December 2014. I wanted to give myself enough time to be organised and get all the travel vaccinations. However there was the looming question of what vaccinations did I need because me and Andrew are going to be travelling across 10 countries in Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea, China, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan).
Here are my 3 quick steps to protect yourself and ensure you get the recommended vaccinations, which will depend on where you will be travelling, your own health condition etc
Book an appointment to see your GP or the practice nurse. They will pull up your vaccination history and tell you whether you vaccines are still up to date. They will advise you on which jabs you will need that you can get free on the NHS. There are 2 types of vaccinations: ones that are free and ones that you will need to pay for.
Free travel vaccinations – These are available on the NHS. Your GP or practice nurse may give you them on your appointment. They include:
- Diphtheria, Polio and Tetanus (Combined booster jab)
- Hepatitis A (this may be combined with Hepatitis B or with typhoid)
- Hepatitis B (You may require 2 or 3 jabs to get the full dose. Check with your GP whether they offer this for free because I needed 2 jabs. The first jab was free but when I moved medical centres they said they didn’t offer it for free so there was some inconsistency.
Private travel vaccinations – These are available at a private travel clinics. Below are the ones that you will need to pay for:
- Hepatitis B (If your local GP cannot offer it for free on the NHS)
- Japanese Encephalitis and Tick-borne Encephalitis
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Yellow Fever (In some countries you will need take the certificate with you for proof to enter the country. Click here for more information)
Your GP or Practice Nurse will also give you general travel health advice and where to get your other travel vaccinations. You can also find out more via the following websites:
- Fit for Travel – You can find travel advice here if you are travelling abroad from the UK.
- National Travel Health Network and Centre – You can find travel health information, the latest news and reports
- NHS Travel Vaccinations
Once you have had your free jabs, now is the time book an appointment at the travel clinic. There are clinics all over the UK and prices do not vary that much.
If you need to find a private travel clinic here is a good website to do a quick search → Travel Clinic Directory
Travel clinics that have branches over the UK:
- Superdrug Travel Clinic and their price list
- Boots Travel Website and their price list
- MASTA Travel Clinic and their price list
- STA Travel Clinic and their price list
Travel clinics in Leeds Town Centre:
– Superdrug Travel Clinic – Merrion Centre
– STA Travel Clinic – Vicar Lane
– One Medicare – Leeds The Light
In the end I had my jabs at Superdrug. They had one in Leeds but they also have them all around the UK. I booked my appointment online and I did check whether they charged a consultation fee. Luckily, the £10 was waived. She went through my itinerary and discussed which vaccinations I needed, how many jabs I needed to have, when to have them and advice on other diseases where there were no vaccines available such as Dengue Fever. (Thanks Shehri for stabbing me so many times but for also being so helpful!!)
My Total Spend on Vaccinations and Malaria tablets: £241
– Japanese Encephalitis (for Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia as we may be going to rice paddies) – 2 doses at £78 per dose. Total cost = £156
– Hepatitis B (required for most Asian countries) – £40 per dose
– Malaria Tablets – 3 boxes of Doxycycline (150 capsules) £45
- I choose Doxycycline because I heard the others had side effects which were unpleasant. With doxycycline there aren’t many interactions with other drugs (please do check!) and the only side effect with photosensitivity.
Make sure you keep all your vaccination history with you on your travels with you either on your phone or written down with your other important documents.
Stay safe everyone and happy travels 🙂