Advice For Travellers

 

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As you will be aware, GP surgeries are working under increasing pressure and are prioritising the services they can provide. Consequently Gloucester Road Medical Centre can no longer provide a full travel clinic but is able to provide some vaccinations on the NHS that are recommended for travel purposes. Information for travellers is available here

image depicting travel vaccinations

We strongly advise you to check your requirements at least three months before travel, as sometimes a course of up to three vaccinations is needed, which will take several weeks. It is your responsibility to ascertain which vaccinations (and, if relevant, anti-malaria tablets) you need, and also to inform yourself fully of recommended safe travel precautions. 

The following vaccinations are commonly required for many holiday destinations, and are free of charge on the NHS:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus & polio (combined)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid

These can be administered by a nurse at this surgery, if needed.

Cholera medication is also available on the NHS, but is not commonly required.

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 and there may be a charge for these. If you would rather have all of your vaccinations done at these clinics, they can also give the vaccines above but there will be a charge for these. 

Follow these simple steps:

  • Select the country you are visiting from the ‘destinations’ box on the left.
  • 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 & drink. Also advice is given about visas & health insurance. 
  • Note the ‘Courses or boosters usually advised’. If you have a record of your immunisations/vaccinations check that you are up-to-date with all the recommended vaccines.
  • If you think that you need any of the vaccinations provided by the NHS (in bold above) make an appointment at GRMC, bringing with you a printout of the relevant Travel Health Pro information. 
  • Read the information about malaria, (if this is an issue where you are going), 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 indicate which anti-malaria tablets are effective in that region.
  • Read the entire section ‘other health risks’ which contains further up-to-date information about your travel destination, including current outbreaks, risks, etc.
 

Notes

Anti-malarial prophylaxis

These drugs need to be started before entering a malaria area, continued during the trip and for a period of time after leaving, so you need plan ahead. We also advise you to take your itinerary and dates with you to work out how many you need to buy.

Proguanil and/or chloroquine can be bought over the counter at a pharmacy. 

Atovaquone/Proguanil (Malarone) Doxycycline and Mefloquine (Lariam) can be obtained from high street travel clinics.

 

Vaccinations

  • Hepatitis A – if you have had two vaccinations, you are covered for 25 years (from the 2nd dose)
  • Diphtheria, tetanus & 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 recommended. If you are unsure of when you had any previous vaccinations, ask the surgery for a printout of your vaccination history. You should keep a record of this.

The ‘vaccinations sometimes advised’ section usually relates to back-packers, people travelling for more than 4 weeks, or special situations, such as 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. 

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