June 10, 2022

A Guide To Countries That Require Vaccines

Vaccines are used to prevent certain diseases. The vaccine, which usually contains a weak part of a specific disease, is generally administered through needle injections to stimulate a response from your immune system when it recognises the new organism. 

In the UK, there are a list of vaccinations that are administered to children, but these do not protect against all diseases, particularly ones found in different countries. This is why some countries still require other vaccines, such as the hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine which is required in Central America, and then there are other countries where a traveller will need the hepatitis B vaccine. 

We have put together a list of vaccines that people are still required to have before travelling to certain countries.

Vaccinations that you may need before travelling


needle ready for vaccine

         1. Cholera Vaccination

– Cholera is a diarrheal illness which is caused by an intestine infection.

– The cholera vaccine is not generally needed unless you’re travelling to areas that have poor sanitation, such as sub-Saharan Africa, south and southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central America and the Caribbean. 

– The vaccination against cholera is usually given in fluid form to drink in two separate doses, one to six weeks apart.

– If you have been vaccinated against cholera in the past, and you’re thinking of travelling to a country where the infection is high, then a full vaccination is recommended, or at least a single booster dose.

         2. Diphtheria Vaccination

– Diphtheria is an infection which can cause a false membrane to form in a person’s throat, which can affect breathing, and/or cause heart problems.

– The diphtheria vaccine is given to children in the UK as part of their standard vaccinations, which will also protect them against polio and tetanus. 

– If it was over ten years ago since you received your diphtheria vaccination, then it’s usually recommended that you have a booster dose before travelling to countries where the disease is present. 

– The areas where the vaccination/booster dose will be required include Africa, Indonesia, south Asia and the former Soviet Union.

         3.  Hepatitis A Vaccination

– Hepatitis A is an infection that can cause inflammation of a person’s liver. 

– The hepatitis A vaccine is recommended to those travelling to countries with poor sanitation and where hepatitis A is commonly found.

– Hepatitis A can still be found in areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, Asia, and South and Central America, so it is recommended you have the vaccine against the disease before travelling to any of these areas.

– The hepatitis A vaccine is administered as a single injection; a second dose will be given six to twelve months later. Having two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine should protect a person for twenty years.

         4. Hepatitis B Vaccination

– Hepatitis B is an infection of a person’s liver. 

– It is recommended that you have the hepatitis B vaccine before travelling to areas where the disease is common, such as Africa, Asia, Middle East and southern and eastern Europe.

– The vaccine against hepatitis B is administered through a course of three injections. These can be spread out over a period of six months, or as little as three weeks.

         5. Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination

– Japanese encephalitis is a brain infection spread by mosquito bites. If serious, this virus can cause inflammation of the brain.

– The Japanese encephalitis vaccine is recommended for travellers going to Asia, the western Pacific Islands, the borders of Pakistan, northeastern China, the islands of Torres Strait, and northeastern Australia. 

– It’s vitally important to get the vaccination against Japanese encephalitis if you are travelling in the rainy season, or if you will be taking part in activities that can increase your risk of becoming infected, such as cycling, climbing or hiking. 

– The Japanese encephalitis vaccine is given through a course of two injections. The second dose is administered twenty-eight days after the first, and it should, ideally, be planned so that you receive the second dose around seven days before you travel.

         6. Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccination

– Meningococcal meningitis is where the membranes become inflamed around the spinal cord or brain. 

– The meningococcal meningitis vaccine is recommended for people planning to travel to Africa and Saudi Arabia, particularly for gatherings of Hajj or Umrah.

– Upon entry into Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah, you are required to show proof of vaccinations.

– The vaccination against meningococcal meningitis is administered as a single injection two to three weeks before travelling.

         7. Tick-borne Encephalitis Vaccination

– Tick-borne encephalitis can be spread via tick bites. The infection can cause symptoms similar to when a person has the flu, and it can also cause the brain to inflame. 

– The tick-borne encephalitis vaccine is recommended for people who plan to live or work in a high-risk area, or for travellers who plan to hike or camp in high-risk areas during peak summer time.

– The ticks can be found in Central, eastern and northern Europe, eastern Russia, east Asia, and some regions of China and Japan. 

– To be fully protected against tick-borne encephalitis, a course of three injections is required. The full course provides immunity for up to three years.

         8. Tuberculosis Vaccination

– Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that usually affects the lungs.

– The vaccine against tuberculosis is called the BCG vaccine (bacillus calmette-guérin vaccine). It isn’t part of the standard vaccines that are administered to children in the UK.

– It is recommended that you get the tuberculosis vaccine if you’re going to be travelling to certain areas, such as the Indian subcontinent, Africa, south Asia, Central America, and parts of the Middle East. 

– The vaccine against TB is given as a single injection.

         9. Typhoid Vaccination

– Typhoid fever is an infection that can affect the body’s organs.

– The vaccination against typhoid is recommended for people who are planning to travel to Africa, parts of Asia, the Indian subcontinent, parts of the Middle East, and Central America. 

– Ideally, the typhoid vaccine should be given at least one month before travelling.

– There are two typhoid vaccines available in the UK. One is administered as a single injection, and the other is given as three capsules.

– It is recommended that a person gets a booster vaccine every three years if they’re still at risk of infection.

         10. Yellow Fever Vaccination

– Yellow fever is a disease spread by infected mosquitoes. 

– The yellow fever vaccine is recommended for people planning to travel to the tropical parts of Africa and Central and South America. 

– Some countries require proof of vaccination before entering. Travellers will need to provide their yellow fever vaccine certificate.

– Travellers must be vaccinated at least ten days before entering the areas where yellow fever is common.

– A single dose of the vaccine against yellow fever provides full protection. A booster is not required.

         11. Malaria Vaccination

– Malaria is caused by a parasite infecting a mosquito which then feeds on people. The infected usually suffer with flu-like symptoms.

– If you’re planning on travelling to South America, Europe, Asia, or Australia, then a vaccine against malaria is recommended. 

– The malaria vaccine is a fairly new discovery.

If you’re planning on travelling soon, then we recommend that you find out what compulsory vaccines are required for travel at least eight weeks before visiting other countries. To find out more, view the vaccines that we offer.