Ask the expert

Tony

Vaccines across the world

I am going on a one-year round-the-world trip with my family (2 adults aged 38 and two children aged 7 and 9). We plan to visit Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, USA and Iceland. Please can you advise which vaccinations are recommended and if any are available free on NHS, or what price we should expect to pay.

6 September 2019

This answer was last reviewed in September 2019 by Sarah Brown, a registered nurse in our Health at Hand team.

As well as considering recommended vaccines for the countries you plan to visit, it's important to confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain.

Please note we will be including detailed information for you for each destination you have listed, but with regard to yellow fever vaccination, the exact requirements depend on your route/order of the countries visited. Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with yellow fever transmission.

In the table we've created for you below, courses/boosters are vaccines that are advised and necessary, whereas vaccines to consider are ones that depend on the type of holiday you are undertaking, i.e. back packing, where you are staying, etc.

As per your plan of countries to visit here is a list of the vaccinations that are advised and ones to consider.

Country Courses/Boosters advised Vaccines to consider
Sri Lanka Tetanus Hep B, Hep A, Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, TB
Malaysia mainland Tetanus Cholera, Hep B, Hep A, Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, TB
Thailand Tetanus Cholera, Hep B, Hep A, Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, TB
Laos Tetanus, Polio, Hep A, Typhoid Cholera, Hep B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, TB
Cambodia Hep A, Tetanus, Typhoid  Cholera, Hep B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, TB
Vietnam Hep A, Tetanus, Typhoid  Cholera, Hep B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, TB
Indonesia Hep A, Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid Cholera, Hep B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, TB
Australia Tetanus Hep B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies
New Zealand Tetanus Hep B
Hong Kong Hep A, Tetanus Hep B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, TB, Typhoid
Japan Tetanus Hep B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, Tick-borne Encephalitis 
Canada Tetanus Rabies
USA Tetanus Rabies
Iceland Tetanus Rabies

Vaccines that are free on the NHS from your local surgery because they protect against diseases that are thought to represent the greatest risk to public health if they were brought into the country include travel vaccines diphtheria, polio, tetanus (combined booster), hep A, typhoid and cholera.

Yellow fever vaccination is only available privately, and also hep B when not combined with hep A. Japanese enc, rabies and TB are also vaccines that need to be paid for privately. Yellow fever vaccine is only available from designated centres. NaTHNaC website can help you find a clinic offering yellow fever vaccination.

The cost of travel vaccines at private clinics will vary but could be around £50 for each dose of a vaccine. If possible see your GP at least 8 weeks before you travel, some vaccines need to be given well in advance to allow your body to develop immunity.

Also there are some vaccines that are not routinely available to everyone on the NHS, but are available to people who fall into certain risk groups, e.g. people with long term health conditions. These include hep B and TB vaccines.

Finally, while the information contained in this response has been updated since it was first posted, we would always recommend you seek the latest guidance on vaccines and safety information before you travel, as this information can change.

Further information

If you have a question about travel vaccines or any other aspect of your or your family's health and wellbeing our Health at Hand team are here for you, with information and support, whenever you need us, whether you're and AXA Health member or not. Simply submit your query online via our Ask the Expert service and a member of the team will get back to you.

For more travel health information, visit NaTHNaC or the NHS travel vaccinations factsheet.

Answered by the Health at Hand team.

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