Preparing for Holidays or Travel

Travel Clinics and travel vaccinations/ medication

Travelling abroad needs to be planned well in advance. Start preparing for your trip at least four to six weeks before you go. Remember that vaccines and anti-malaria medicine need time (two weeks or more) to provide protection before you go on your trip. The medication needed for an area can change, depending on current health protection advice, so even if you've visited an area before, you may need different medicines now.

Read the latest health advice for the country you're travelling to on the Fit for Travel website, and check the travel safety updates with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

You may need travel vaccines or, if diseases such as malaria are a risk, you may need to start protecting yourself well in advance.

Prepare a kit of travel health essentials, including sunscreen, painkillers, antiseptic, insect repellent and anti-diarrhoea pills. These will be useful wherever you’re going.

Sexual health experts advise taking condoms with you to avoid the risk of buying fake brands, which may be unsafe, when you get there.

You need to book an appointment to see a nurse to discuss your travel vaccine needs. Each member of your family will need a separate appointment. Because the nurse will need to check the latest recommended travel advice for the specific country or countries you are visiting this will need a longer appointment than usual. She will also take into account the nature of your trip - for example, a beach holiday may need different advice to a trip to a remote area.

Please note that most travel vaccines are NOT provided by the NHS and there is a charge for them. Malaria prevention medication is also not provided by the NHS and you will have to pay, both for the prescription from the surgery and also for the medicine from the pharmacist.

Please note that Yellow Fever vaccination is a specialist service (not available on the NHS) and is not currently available at Chalfont Road Surgery.

There is currently a national shortage of vaccine for Typhoid affecting all healthcare providers. This is a manufacturing problem outside our control. An oral vaccine may be available, but it is not suitable for children under six years old. We therefore advise parents that children under six should n ot travel to high risk areas. Parents who decide to travel with unimmunised children will be doing so at their own risk. 

Travel vaccines are also available locally (privately) from Nomad Travel, 3-4 Wellington Terrace, Turnpike Lane, N8 0PX, tel: 020 8889 7014 or visit:  Check your local Yellow Pages or online for other private travel clinics.