travel vaccines

If you are planning on a vacation outside of the UK, you may need to consider vaccinations depending on the part of the world you are planning on visiting. Here’s a quick guide on when and what vaccinations you may need.

travel vaccines

When Should I Get My Vaccinations?

Not all vaccines have the same timeline. Some kick in quite quickly, while others need time to start working. Start seeking advice at least eight weeks before you travel and ask your pharmacist, doctor or nurse about the best times you should get your jabs done.

Find out what vaccines are recommended for the country you’re headed to, and your Superdrug Pharmacist or Nurse will be able to advise on the best options and timelines for you, taking into consideration your vaccination and medical history. In addition, you can find our handy guide on what vaccines to consider for each country on Superdrug’s Online Doctor site. If you have any questions, you can also visit one of Superdrug’s Travel Clinics. Click here to book an appointment.

What Travel Vaccines Are Free?

The following vaccines are sometimes free on the NHS:

  • Diphtheria, Polio and Tetanus (combined booster)
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A – including when combined with typhoid or hepatitis B
  • Cholera

If you are unable to get these vaccinations for free with your GP, you can book an appointment in selected Superdrug stores.

You are likely to have to pay for all other vaccinations required, so it’s best to add this expense into your holiday budget to avoid disappointment. These vaccinations include:

  • Yellow Fever
  • Rabies
  • Hepatitis B
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Tick Borne Encephalitis

You may also need malaria tablets. 

These vaccinations are available in some Superdrug stores and appointments can be made online.

What To Think About Before You Travel

  • What country you plan on visiting: Some diseases are more prevalent in certain countries but not in others. Make sure you are confident that you got all of the necessary vaccines for the country you are going to.
  • Have you already had any travel vaccinations? You may already be protected, but it's important to check whether you need booster doses or other vaccines even if you have been to the same place before.
  • When are you travelling:  Some diseases are more likely to spread during certain seasons, for example monsoon or rainy season, so always do your research before you travel.
  • How long will you be travelling for: The longer you are abroad, the more chance you have of catching a bug
  • What conditions you’re staying in: your accommodation and activities can mean you are more vulnerable to illnesses for example if you are camping, in contact with animals (i.e. volunteering in a zoo) rather than if you are staying in an all-inclusive hotel
  • Your health and immune system: Some of us are naturally more susceptible to diseases, and certain medical conditions might prevent you from being able to get a vaccine. Always speak to your doctor, and be prepared to alter your travel plans if necessary
  • If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding, always speak to a doctor before making travelling arrangements to countries that require vaccinations or are known to have certain diseases.