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Travel vaccinations

Key Points

  • Some countries have infectious diseases that don’t exist, or aren’t very common, in the UK.
  • Having vaccinations can prevent infectious disease when you travel to some countries.
  • Before you travel it’s important to find out whether you will need vaccinations for the country you’re visiting.
  • Arrange to see your GP or go to a travel health clinic six to eight weeks before you travel.

Featured FAQ

Is there a travel vaccination for malaria?

No, there isn't a vaccine available for malaria, but there are tablets that you can take to prevent it.

You will need to take an antimalarial medicine before, during and after travelling to any area where malaria is widespread. This includes Africa, Central and South America, the Indian subcontinent, South-East Asia and the Pacific islands.

See all our FAQs about travel vaccinations

Further information


  • Immunisations. Clinical Knowledge Summaries., published August 2012
  • Travellers. National Travel Health Network and Centre., accessed 14 August 2013
  • Health professionals. National Travel Health Network and Centre., accessed 14 August 2013
  • Vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccines. World Health Organisation., published 2013
  • Immunisation procedures. The Green Book. Department of Health., published March 2013
  • Factsheet on Travel Vaccinations. Health Protection Agency., published August 2006
  • Malaria. Health Protection Agency., published April 2012
  • Understanding how vaccines work. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., published February 2013
  • Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ group and Pharmaceutical Press., accessed 29 August 2013
  • US vaccine names. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., published August 2011
  • Interactions among travel vaccines and drugs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., published August 2013
  • The global burden of cholera. World Health Organisation., published January 2012
  • Chiodini PL, Field VK, Hill DR at al. Guidelines for malaria prevention in travellers from the United Kingdom. London, Public Health England, July 2013.

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  • This information was published by Bupa's Health Information Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition. The content is intended only for general information and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. For more details on how we produce our content and its sources, visit the about our health information page.

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