With respect to vaccines these can be classified as routine, recommended, and required.
Routine vaccines are necessary for protection from diseases that are still common in many parts of the world even though they rarely occur in the UK. Whenever possible, children should complete the routine immunisations of childhood on a normal schedule. However, travel at an earlier age may require accelerated schedules.
Recommended vaccines are to protect travellers from illnesses present in other parts of the world and to prevent the importation of infectious diseases across international borders.
Required vaccines The only vaccination required by International Health Regulations is for yellow fever, for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America; it may be needed either for your protection or to protect other countries from Yellow Fever, depending on your travel plans. Meningococcal vaccination is required by the government of Saudi Arabia for annual travel during the Hajj.
Vaccinating children for travel requires careful evaluation. Not all travel-related vaccines are effective in infants, and some are specifically contraindicated. Travel vaccinations and anti-malaria medication are not covered by NHS prescriptions and will incur charges - your GP Practice or Travel Health Advisor will advise you what these are.
Travel vaccines are not available from the NHS but can be arranged privately (this differs from the UK). Examples include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis A/Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis A/Typhoid
Patients will still be able to make arrangements with their GP or Travel Health Advisor to receive the vaccines, but on a private basis, and should be aware that on top of the cost of the vaccine, a fee may be charged by the GP/Travel Health Advisor.
Yellow Fever Vaccine is a bit different from other vaccines – please view the Yellow Fever Vaccine page for more information.