Vaccinations can often be the last thing on your mind before jetting off on holiday, but without the correct jabs you could be banned from entering your destination country. Here’s our definitive guide to preventative holiday health.
GOING TO… EAST AFRICA
You’ll need: East African countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Somalia may be great safari destinations, but it’s recommended you get vaccinations against cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningitis, polio, rabies, tetanus, typhoid and yellow fever – depending on your itinerary.
Consult your doctor: At least two months prior to your trip, as some jabs need to be done six weeks before travel and others, such as rabies, require several visits to the doctor.
GOING TO… SOUTH AFRICA
You’ll need: Make sure your routine vaccines such as MMR, polio and tetanus are up to date. Also, since October 2001 you need proof of yellow fever vaccination if you’re entering South Africa after visiting a nearby country with risk of yellow fever such as Tanzania or Zambia. Without this proof you could face quarantine for up to six days and may be refused entry. Additionally, malaria is present in the north-eastern province of SA, so take an anti-malaria drug if you intend to visit an affected area, and make sure you continue to take the tablets for four weeks after your return to cover yourself during the disease’s incubation period.
Consult your doctor: Four to six weeks before travel to allow time for your vaccines to take effect, and to start taking medicine to prevent malaria if you need it.
GOING TO… SOUTH EAST ASIA
You’ll need: Stay safe in backpacker havens like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia by vaccinating against typhoid, hepatitis A, tetanus, rabies and hepatitis B. Your risk of infection increases the more remote your destination so be extra cautious if you plan on exploring the forests around Cambodia, Laos and Burma.
Consult your doctor: Six weeks before travel, and be sure to give your doctor your full travel itinerary as the vaccines you require can be dependent on regions.
GOING TO… SOUTH AMERICA
You’ll need: Yellow fever vaccination is required by International Health Regulations for travel to sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Argentina, Panama, Brazil, Peru, and Columbia are among the high-risk areas, so make sure you get your vaccination (and certificate, which you will need to carry with you) before travel. Other jabs to consider are typhoid, hepatitis A, diphtheria, tuberculosis, rabies and hepatitis B, while malaria is also prevalent in some regions of South America.
Consult your doctor: Three months before travel, as diphtheria and tuberculosis immunisation can take longer.
GOING TO… AUSTRALASIA
You’ll need: While mainline Australia requires no particular vaccinations for travel, you will need a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you’re travelling through from an at-risk area. Additionally, if your trip encompasses some of the neighbouring island paradises such as Fiji or the Solomon Islands, then typhoid, hepatitis A, diphtheria, tuberculosis and hepatitis B may be needed, depending on your itinerary.
Consult your doctor: Three months before travel if you are visiting a region which requires tuberculosis and diphtheria vaccination.
GOING TO… THE CARIBBEAN
You’ll need: To protect against typhoid, hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, rabies and tuberculosis if you are visiting the Caribbean islands of Antigua, Haiti and Jamaica, depending on how much time you plan to spend there. The risk of malaria varies from region to region, so check with your doctor before you travel about prescription anti-malaria tablets, and protect yourself from mosquito bites at your destination.
Consult your doctor: Two to three months before travel, as tuberculosis and diphtheria immunisation can take several weeks.