Holiday Immunisation Tips

To prevent illnesses that are common in many countries but which are rarely encoun­tered in Western Europe, North America or Australasia it may be necessary for you to be immunised with a vaccination. In the UK you can get most vaccinations through a general practition­er or a specialised vaccination centre. Some will be free of charge, but the majority will have to be paid for pri­vately. The exact requirements for a traveller will depend on his or her lifestyle, intended destinations and personal vaccination history, but should be considered at least two months before de­parture. However, even if you are travelling at short notice it is worth visiting your travel clinic or GP Legal Steroids Europe.

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Modern immunisations are remarkably safe and well-toler­ated. However, some vaccines contain traces of penicillin or neomycin and allergy to these antibiotics should be declared. Some vaccines are prepared in eggs and serious allergy to eggs will preclude some inoculations. Patients with chronic illness, particularly immune deficiency due to steroid treatment, cancer chemotherapy or HIV infection, should not receive most vac­cines containing live organisms, such as oral polio or typhoid vaccines, oral typhoid, BCG and yellow fever vaccine, while pregnancy is also a contra-indication for several vaccines.

International regulations cover the minimum legal require­ments for a few vaccinations, particularly yellow fever which has to be administered in a designated centre and recorded on a spe­cific internationally recognised certificate. Some countries may have idiosyncratic certificate requirements, cholera vaccina­tions for example, and the situation will change if an epidemic is in progress, hence the need for up-to-date information before you travel. If in doubt about the need for International Certifi­cates for yellow fever, it may be wise to obtain one before travel rather than being forced to accept vaccination, using needles of dubious origin and sterility, on arrival at your destination.

It is equally important that the traveller has adequate protec­tion against infections such as hepatitis A, polio and tetanus, even though proof of this will not be required by immigration officials at your destination. All travellers should have up-to-date tetanus immunisations, and travellers outside Europe, the Americas and Australasia should ensure that polio immunisa­tion is adequate. Children should have received all their child­hood immunisations, and children who are going to live in the tropics, or who will be staying for a month or more, especially if stopping with friends or relatives, should have early immunisa­tion against tuberculosis (BCG), measles (MMR) and hepatitisB infection.

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