Why is it important to have travel vaccinations? Travel clinic in Brentford
If you traveling abroad, especially to new and exotic places like Africa, Asia and South America, make sure to plan ahead and get travel health advice well in advance of your journey as some travel vaccines can take up to 8 weeks to become effective. B.A Williams Chemist in Brentford offers a comprehensive travel clinic service with walk in and same day appointments, helping travellers like you to stay safe and protected from serious diseases found in other parts of the world.
What this travel health article is about?
Here, we look at what travel vaccines are and how they work, the importance and availability of travel vaccines near you. We will also look at what travel vaccinations would you need for a particular trip and how soon should one start seeking travel health advice. We will try to provide as much information as possible about travel health here, however the subject is so vast that we can’t simply cover everything here.
The best course of action would be to get in touch with your local travel health experts at B.A Williams Chemist in Brentford and get the most up to date help and advice.
What Travel Vaccines are and how do they function?
A vaccine is a certain type of medicine injected in the body that trains the body’s immune system against a disease it has not come into contact with before. Vaccination helps in prevention, rather than treatment of a disease once you have caught it. Travel vaccines are designed to provide immunity against diseases found in other parts of the world.
This Short animation video by oxford vaccine group illustrates how vaccines work.
Are travel vaccines necessary to have?
There are two main reasons why having travel vaccines is necessary before traveling to some regions of the world.
Firstly, while abroad, you may be exposed to contagious diseases like yellow fever, hepatitis B that the routine NHS immunisation schedule doesn’t provide protection against. Hence to stay protected during your entire trip, it is important to have the required travel vaccinations for that particular trip.
How to find Travel clinics where I live?
You can find travel clinics near you from here.
The local options could be your local pharmacy or you local GP practice. Your local B.A Williams Chemist in Brentford will see you straight away on walk-in basis or provide you with same day appointment whereas GP practice might not be offering all the travel vaccines and may need you to make an appointment with a nurse many days or even weeks in advance.
What exact travel vaccines do I need?
This will depend on your destination, the activities you will undertake there and the time in the year you are traveling there. Your travel health care professional at your local B.A Williams Chemist in Brentford will be able to advise you on this or you can check it for yourself on getjab.co.uk or NHS fit for travel website.
When should I seek travel health advice?
You should start thinking about your travel vaccines as soon as practically possible. Vaccines can take time to develop immunity in your body (become effective) and some vaccines need to be administered in a number of doses over several weeks period. Vaccines like rabies requires a month to complete the course.
How long does vaccines cover last?
Some vaccines stay effective for a few years whereas others last for life. Your travel health professional will be able to advise you on whether you are still covered or would need a booster by looking at your travel health history. You can read more about how long different vaccines last on Tropical Medical Bureau website .
Malaria is a deadly disease which is spread by mosquitos bites found in some parts of the world.
Causes of Malaria
The cause of Malaria is Plasmodium parasite. It is a single celled parasite that multiples itself inside human red blood cells, but it is neither a virus nor a bacterium. The parasite can be spread to humans through infected mosquitoes bite.
Antimalarials are tablets taken before traveling to help reduce the risk of malaria. It is a preventative measure.
There is an ABCD approach to malaria prevention as shown in this short video by Valneva.
Malaria could be cured with Prescription drugs.
As there are different types of malaria, the treatment duration and drug type will depend on what type of malaria is being cured and when the person was infected.
Malaria Life cycle
The parasite that causes malaria develops in the human red blood cells and also in the intestine of female Anopheles mosquitoes. You can study the full malaria lifecycle on malariavaccine.org website.
1. Malaria is a deadly disease transmitted by mosquito bite. Though it is both preventable and curable.
2. There were an estimated 2019 million cases of malaria found in around 90 countries in the year 2017.
You can find more facts about malaria on World Health Organisation website.
Yellow Fever Vaccines
Yellow fever vaccines are given to protect against the yellow fever disease. Yellow fever is a viral infection caused by the mosquito bite. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, nausea, muscle pain and headache. It can occasionally be fatal.
The vaccines provide immunity against it which needs to be given atleast 10 days before traveling. It is given in injection form in the upper arm. The vaccine lasts for life time.
Some countries require a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Your certificate is provided to you by the travel clinic and becomes valid 10 days after the jab is administered.
Yellow Fever Vaccine side effects
Side effects are rare. Normal side effects could include injection site soreness, pain and headache.
Dengue fever is caused by virus which is transmitted to humans by mosquito bite infected with the virus. These mosquitos usually operate during day time.
Dengue Fever Symptoms
The symptoms are fever, headache, eye pain, joint pain and rush. Though majority of the infections are symptoms free. There is no vaccine available for travellers. You can find out more about dengue fever on NHS Fit for Travel website.
Hepatitis A vaccine
Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for travellers to provide immunity for Hepatitis A disease. The disease is caused by virus and it infects human liver. It spreads through poo of infected human being. It is common in parts of the world where sanitation is poor.
It can turn fatal in case of liver failure, however, it is mostly not that serious and patients make full recovery within a few months.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
The symptoms normally appear a month after being infected. Symptoms include tiredness, not well feeling, fever, joint and muscle pain, lack of appetite, feeling sick, itchy skin and tummy pain, urine darkness, pale looking stools, skin and eye white turning yellow.
Hepatitis A vaccine side effects
Occasionally, the injection spot can turn sore, red and can get hard but only for a short time. Sometimes even a lump can appear which is not painful and disappears on its own.
Very rare side effects could be feeling of tiredness, not well feeling, headache, lack of appetite and sick feeling.
Travel Vaccinations by Country
Travel vaccination requirements are different for every country. Although we can’t go through every country requirements here, we will look at some of the most popular destinations for travel vaccinations.
Travel Vaccinations for India
You may be travelling to India to see world renowned monuments like Taj Mahal or to enjoy its interesting wildlife and beautiful beaches or may simply have friends, family or business to attend to, what ever the reason for your travel, staying safe and protected from infectious diseases should be your priority.
Additional vaccines to consider for some travellers include Hepatitis B, Rabies, and Japanese encephalitis. The consideration for these additional vaccines will depend on the medical history, the planned activities for the trip and parts of the country to be visited.
Vaccination Certificate Requirement
If you are entering India from a yellow fever country, then yellow fever certificate is a requirement.
Consult your local travel Health clinic at B.A Williams Chemist in Brentford to establish exactly which vaccines you would need and if certificate would be required for your journey. Also seek advice on whether you would need antimalarials, especially if you are travelling to north eastern states like Assam and Orissa.
Travel Vaccinations for Thailand
More than a million people from Britain visit Thailand every year. It has beautiful long beaches, tropical rainforests, high mountains and paddy fields. There are certain diseases found in Thailand which could infect British travellers.
Recommended vaccines for Thailand include Hepatitis A, Tetanus and possibly yellow fever.
Hepatitis A: It is a liver infection which is spread through contaminated water and food. Hepatitis A vaccine is injected in one go.
Tetanus: This is caused when wounds, cuts and burns get contaminated. It is given in 5 injection doses. Afterwards, A booster is enough if you haven’t had one in ten years.
Yellow Fever: This is caused by mosquito bite. Certificate is required if you are entering from a yellow fever country or even if have transited through the airport of such country (for 12 hours plus)
There is a low risk of malaria in some rural parts of Thailand. Hence taking antimalarials is advisable only if you are expecting to be spending considerable time in such regions of the country.
Other diseases in some mosquito hotspots include Japanese encephalitis. Though the risk is very low, but if you are spending considerable time in these areas then vaccines could be considered. Again talk to your pharmacist at Dukes pharmacy for professional advice.
Cholera risk is low.
Hajj and Umrah Vaccinations in Brentford
If you have planned to attend Hajj or perform Umrah, you will need to get certain vaccinations before you travel. A meningococcal (ACWY) vaccination is a mandatory visa requirement for travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah. A conjugate ACW135 meningococcal vaccine should have been administered not more than five years and not less than 10 days prior to entry in to Saudi Arabia. It is important to document the type of vaccine [e.g. conjugate vaccine], on the vaccination record. Saudi Arabia health ministry states that the conjugate vaccines (Menveo or Nimenrix) confer protection for ‘at least five years’. Failure to document the type of vaccine will result in the certificate being valid for three years only.
At B.A Williams Chemist in Brentford, we provide Hajj and Umrah vaccinations with all the required certificates. Contact us on 0208 560 3834 or ask in store.
B.A Williams Chemist and Travel Clinic in Brentford
Our expert travel health professionals are here to help you with all your travel health immunisation needs and advice. Also if you need any accessories for your travel essentials kit, we can help you with that as well. Ask in store or call us to book an appointment.
Travel Health Advice
It is essential to seek professional travel health advice well in advance of your planned journey. Read the latest advice for safe travel for the country you are travelling to on Gov.uk and TravelHealthPro.
Try to stay safe from mosquito bites by carrying and wearing long sleeves clothing and trousers to cover up skin. Carry and use insect repellent on exposed areas of the body and at night sleep under mosquito net. Essentially prepare a Travel Health Essentials Kit.
Start your antimalarials treatment before you set off to any country with risk of malaria.
Also follow best hygiene practices even so more when abroad.