Vaccinations, travel - Introduction
NHS Choices Medical Reference
People who are travelling outside the UK may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases that are found in other parts of the world.
In the UK, the childhood vaccination programme protects against a number of diseases, such as tetanus, but it does not cover most of the infectious diseases that are found overseas.
See the Vaccination checklist for information about the vaccines that are part of the childhood vaccination programme in the UK.
If you are planning to travel abroad, you should check which vaccinations are recommended for the areas you will be visiting. You can find this information on these two websites:
Information about the vaccines can be found in Vaccines A-M and Vaccines P-Z. The links below provide more information about the diseases they prevent.
Cholera vaccination - cholera is a disease that causes diarrhoea and vomiting and is usually caught through infected water.
Diphtheria vaccination - diphtheria is a bacterial infection that mainly affects the nose and throat.
Hepatitis A vaccination - hepatitis A is an infection that causes inflammation of the liver.
Hepatitis B vaccination - hepatitis B is similar to hepatitis A but it is caused by a different virus.
Japanese encephalitis vaccination -Japanese encephalitis is a disease that is spread by mosquitoes. It is usually mild but can develop into encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Meningococcal meningitis vaccination - meningococcal meningitis is an infection of the meninges (the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).
Poliomyelitis (polio) vaccination - polio is a highly infectious virus that can cause flu-like symptoms and is potentially fatal.
Rabies vaccination - rabies is an infection of the central nervous system that is passed to humans through the bite of an infected animal.
Tetanus vaccination - tetanus is a severe but short-lived infection that is caused by bacteria.
Tick-borne encephalitis vaccination - tick-borne encephalitis is similar to Japanese encephalitis but it is caught through the bite of an infected tick.
Tuberculosis vaccination - tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that affects the lungs.
Typhoid fever vaccination - typhoid fever is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that is caught through contaminated food or water.
Yellow fever vaccination - yellow fever is a serious viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes.
Not all vaccinations are available through the NHS and you may need to pay for some. See Travel vaccinations - where to get them for more information and advice.
- Bacteria are tiny, single-celled organisms that live in the body. Some can cause illness and disease and some are good for you.
- Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. This can develop as a result of infection (usually viral) or when the immune system attacks the tissue of the brain by mistake (post-infectious encephalitis).
- A fever is when you have a high body temperature of 38C (100.4F) or over.
- Inflammation is the body's response to infection, irritation or injury, which causes redness, swelling, pain and sometimes a feeling of heat in the affected area.
- Vaccination or immunisation is usually given by an injection that makes the body's immune system produce antibodies that will fight off a virus.