24 October 2018 by Anna Staford
If you’re planning on visiting a destination outside of your home country you may need to be vaccinated against some of the more serious diseases found in other parts of the world. In fact, some countries require evidence of certain vaccinations before they will allow entry into their borders, so if you don’t check beforehand, your holiday of a lifetime could end up being over before it gets started.
Some of the most popular European holiday destinations need certain vaccinations, like Turkey requires an up to date Hepatitis A and Tetanus vaccinations and you may want to consider Hepatitis B and rabies vaccines too. If you’re going to Egypt or India, or many locations in Africa, you will need a yellow fever vaccine too. And odds are if you are taking a trip to a far flung corner of the world, you will definitely need certain vaccinations to comply with recommendations.
It’s understandable that vaccinations will be way down on your priority list compared to arranging flights, accommodation, itinerary and travel insurance. But immunisations can be lifesaving and you are risking your health and others through risk of transmission if you skip this vital step.
Every year, thousands of travellers become infected with diseases which could have been prevented with the right vaccinations before departing their home country. You can find out which vaccines you might need on various websites including Fit for Travel, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, or you can speak to your GP who can advise you.
You should think about vaccinations several weeks before you travel because some vaccinations may need to be taken well in advance to be fully effective at the time of travel and others may take time for your GP or local vaccinations clinic to source.
Not only could you be seriously risking your health, did you know that you might also be in breach of your travel insurance terms? Check out these 3 facts about travel insurance vaccinations.
If you’re unlucky enough to contract a tropical disease and have not had the required inoculations before travelling, you could experience a double-whammy of bad luck and find you’re not covered by your travel insurance.
Does travel insurance cover vaccinations? Many insurance companies include clauses in their policies that specifically require you to comply with recommended inoculations and medication for your chosen location. So if you don’t comply, you are in breach of policy terms and conditions and they could decline your claim.
Even if your travel insurance policy doesn’t specifically have a clause that requires you to have all necessary vaccinations, you’re still not in the clear, because most policies include wording that excludes any claim where you have put yourself at risk. And not having required vaccines could be classed as wilful exposure to such risk.
The average medical claim costs over £1,000 and medical costs for a tropical disease and all its associated complications will more likely cost many thousands, as would a repatriation to bring you home.
Can you afford a serious hit on your health and your budget by not having the right vaccines? Why risk ruining your well-earned holiday, check what you need in advance and stay safe and covered. And don’t forget to review the FCO's website for up to date safety and travel advice on your chosen location.