If you’re traveling abroad you can often put your health unwillingly at risk, especially if you’re heading to the tropics and some parts of Africa. To minimize the risks of becoming seriously ill when traveling, getting a few key vaccines comes highly recommended. Here are the most common vaccines for top tourist destinations.
You’ll don’t need a vaccines for a great number of destinations, but it’s advisable to inform you’re self if there are any advised or required vaccines to your selected destination. Whether you’ll need to get any shots depends on various factors. The most common factors are destination, the time of year you’re travelling, your own age and health status, the length of your trip and whether you are immune already to the disease that is common to the area you are travelling to.
Popular destinations that require vaccination
We’ve gathered a list of 10 popular destinations to visit where a vaccination may be advised or it’s strongly recommended. For most of your travels in North America and Australia, northern and central Europe, vaccinations won’t be required but if you’re headed below the equator for example to Costa Rica, Thailand, South Africa and beyond, it’s a good idea to see your general practitioner before you go.
- Thailand (Phuket, Koh Samui): Hepatitis A and Tetanus are advised; Cholera, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabis and Typhoid are also recommended. *
- Mexico: Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid are advised; Rabies and Diptheria are also recommended.
- Cuba: Hepatitis A is advised; Cholera, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Tetanus are also ones to consider.
- Costa Rica: Hepatitis A is strongly recommended, while Diptherhia, Rabies and Tetanus are also advised. *
- Peru: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid are recommended; Diptheria, Rabies and Yellow Fever are others to consider.
- Israel: Hepatitis A and Poliomyelitis are recommended; Diptheria, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Tetanus are others to consider.
- South Africa: Hepatitis A and Diphtheria are strongly advised; other vaccines to consider include Cholera, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Tetanus and Typhoid. **
- Australia (Tasmania): No boosters are advised but vaccines to consider include Diptheria, Tetanus and Japanese Encephalitis. **
- Brazil: Hepatitis A, Diptheria and Tetanus are advised; others to consider include Rabies, Typhoid and Yellow Fever.
- Brazil: Hepatitis A and Typhoid are advised; other vaccines to consider: Diphtheria; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Tetanus; Yellow Fever.
* A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required by all travellers over the age of 9 months old if arriving from an infected country or for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of an infected country.
** A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required by all travellers over the age of 1 year old if arriving from an infected country or for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of an infected country.
Yellow Fever Risk Areas
Travel to a yellow fever risk area will usually require a yellow fever vaccination certificate from travellers upon entry. Some countries will ask you for one if you’re arriving from an infected country. This mostly applies to travel in the Americas and Africa. When in doubt, get in touch with the NHS about obtaining a yellow fever certificate.
The following countries are yellow fever risk areas in AFRICA:
|Angola ||Senegal ||Chad |
|Benin ||Sierra Leone ||Congo, Republic of |
|Burkina Faso ||South Sudan ||Cote d'Ivoire |
|Burundi ||Sudan ||Democratic Republic of Congo |
|Cameroon ||Togo ||Gabon |
|Central African Republic ||Uganda ||Mauritania |
The following countries are yellow fever risk areas in the AMERICAS:
|Equatorial Guinea ||Argentina ||Panama ||Paraguay |
|French Guiana ||Bolivia ||Guyana ||Peru |
|Guinea-Bissau ||Brazil ||Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad only) ||Suriname |
|Guinea ||Colombia ||Venezuela ||Ecuador |
Get vaccinated at least 4 to 8 weeks before you go
Get advice on vaccinations at least a month before you go, as some shots will need to be administered well in advance. If you’re not up to date with some of the common vaccinations like polio and tetanus, then you’ll need to arrange for some booster shots.
Your healthcare provider is the best place to start when it comes to arranging any vaccines, and it’s good to know that some shots are covered by the health institutes while others are not.
UK citizens are entitled to free travel vaccinations through the NHS:
- Diphtheria, polio, tetanus (combined booster)
- Hepatitis A
Private travel vaccinations which will come at extra cost:
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Yellow Fever (only available from designated centers)
For more information on which vaccines are recommended for which destinations, check out the NHS ‘Fit For Travel’ website.
U.S. citizens may be eligible for free vaccines depending on a number of factors for more information visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.