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If you're planning to travel outside Cyprus, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world. Vaccinations are available to protect you against many travel-related infections, such as yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A. In Cyprus, the childhood vaccination programme protects you against a number of diseases such as tetanus, but it does not cover most of the infectious diseases that are found overseas.


Travel vaccinations

You can  which vaccinations are necessary or recommended for the areas you will be visiting on these two websites:

  •  Fit for Travel
  • National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC)

Some countries require you to have an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) before you enter. For example, Saudi Arabia requires proof of vaccination against certain types of meningitis for visitors arriving for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

Many tropical countries in Africa and South America will not accept travellers from an area where there is yellow fever unless they can prove that they have been vaccinated against it.

 

Getting vaccinated

You don't always need vaccinations to travel abroad. If you do, the type of travel jabs you need depends on which country you're visiting and what you're doing.

First, phone or visit your GP or practice nurse to whether your existing jabs are up-to-date (they can tell from your notes). Your GP or practice nurse may also be able to give you general advice about travel vaccinations and travel health, such as protecting yourself from malaria.

 

Free travel vaccinations

The following travel vaccinations are usually available free on the .

  • diphtheria, polio and tetanus (combined booster)
  • typhoid
  • hepatitis A (including when combined with typhoid or hepatitis B)
  • cholera

These vaccines are usually free because they protect against diseases thought to represent the greatest risk to public health if they were brought into the country.

 

Private travel vaccinations

You're likely to have to pay for travel vaccinations against:

  • hepatitis B (when not combined with hepatitis A)
  • Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis
  • meningococcal meningitis
  • rabies
  • tuberculosis (TB)
  • yellow fever

Yellow fever vaccines are only available from designated centres. The NaTHNaC website can help you find where to get a yellow fever vaccination.

The cost of travel vaccines at private clinics will vary, but could be around £50 for each dose of a vaccine. Therefore, if a vaccine requires three doses, the total cost could be around £150. It's worth considering this when budgeting for your trip.

 

Things to consider

There are several things to consider when planning your travel vaccinations, including:

  • the country or countries you are visiting some diseases are more common in certain parts of the world and less common in others 
  • when you are travelling  some diseases are more common at certain times of the year, for example during the rainy season
  • where you are staying  in general, you will be more at risk of disease in rural areas than in urban areas, and if you are backpacking and staying in hostels or camping, you may be more at risk than if you were on a package holiday and staying in a hotel
  • how long you will be staying  the longer your stay, the greater your risk of being exposed to diseases
  • your age and health  some people may be more vulnerable to infection than others, while some vaccinations cannot be given to people with certain medical conditions
  • what you will be doing during your stay  for example, whether you will be spending a lot of time outdoors, such as trekking or working in rural areas
  • if you are working as an aid worker – you may come into contact with more diseases if you are working in a refugee camp or helping after a natural disaster
  • if you are working in a medical setting  for example, a doctor or nurse may require additional vaccinations
  • if you are in contact with animals – in this case, you may be more at risk of getting diseases that are spread by animals, such as rabies

If you are only travelling to countries in northern and central Europe, North America or Australia, it is unlikely that you will need to have any vaccinations.

If possible, see your GP at least eight weeks before you are due to travel, because some vaccinations need to be given well in advance to allow your body to develop immunity and some involve multiple doses spread over several weeks.

 

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Speak to your GP before having any vaccinations if:

  • you are pregnant
  • you think you might be pregnant
  • you are breastfeeding

In many cases, it is unlikely that a vaccine given while pregnant or breastfeeding will cause problems for the baby. However, your GP will be able to give you further advice about this.

 

People with immune deficiencies

For some people travelling overseas, vaccination against certain diseases may not be advised. This may be the case if:

  • you have a condition that affects your body's immune system, such as HIV or AIDS
  • you are receiving treatment that affects your immune system, such as chemotherapy
  • you have recently had a bone marrow or organ transplant

Your GP can give you further advice about this.

Travel health

A simple guide to health precautions when travelling abroad, including vaccinations, taking condoms and a first aid kit, and being careful about drinking water.

Media last reviewed: 02/10/2013

Next review due: 02/10/2015

 

Non-travel vaccines

As well as getting any travel vaccinations that you need, it's also a good opportunity to make sure your other vaccinations are up-to-date and have booster jabs if necessary.

Your GP surgery can check your existing vaccination records.

People in certain risk groups may be offered extra vaccines. These include vaccinations against diseases such as hepatitis B, tuberculosis (TB), flu and chickenpox.

 

Vaccinations for travellers abroad 

The following vaccinations are available for people travelling abroad:

  • cholera
  • diphtheria
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • meningococcal meningitis
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • polio
  • rabies
  • tetanus
  • tick-borne encephalitis
  • tuberculosis (TB)
  • typhoid
  • yellow fever

 

Cholera vaccination

Vaccination against cholera is recommended for travellers to areas where the infection is widespread, particularly for aid workers and people likely to have limited access to medical services.

Most cases of cholera are confined to regions of the world with poor sanitation and water hygiene, such as parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia, the Middle East and South America.

The vaccine is usually given as a drink in two separate doses, taken one to six weeks apart (children aged two to six should have a third dose taken one to six weeks after the second dose). You should make sure you have the final dose of this vaccine at least a week before you travel.

A single booster dose or full re-vaccination is usually recommended if you have previously been vaccinated against cholera and you are planning to travel to an area where the infection is common.

 

Diphtheria vaccination

A combined vaccination that protects against diphtheria, polio and tetanus is routinely given to all children in the Cyprus. You should ensure you and your children are up to date with your routine vaccinations before you travel.

Further booster doses are usually only recommended if you're going to visit parts of the world where diphtheria is widespread and your last vaccination dose was more than 10 years ago.

Areas with high rates of diphtheria include sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, South America and the Indian subcontinent.

Additional doses of the vaccination are given in a single 3-in-1 Td/IPV (tetanus, diphtheria and polio) injection.

 

Hepatitis A vaccination

Vaccination against hepatitis A is recommended if you're travelling to countries where hepatitis A is widespread, particularly if you are staying for a prolonged period or you are staying somewhere with poor levels of sanitation and hygiene.

Areas with a high risk of hepatitis A include Africa, the Far East, eastern Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

The vaccination against hepatitis A is usually given as a single initial injection, with an optional booster dose 6-12 months later that can protect you for at least 20 years if necessary. 

You should preferably have this initial dose at least two weeks before you leave, although it can be given up to the day of your departure if needed.

Jabs that offer combined protection against hepatitis A and hepatitis B or typhoid are also available if you are likely to also be at risk of these conditions.

 

Hepatitis B vaccination

Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended if you're travelling in parts of the world where hepatitis B is common, especially if you will be doing activities that increase your risk of developing the infection.

As hepatitis B is spread through blood and body fluids, activities such as having sex, injecting drugs or playing contact sports on your travels can increase your risk. Anyone travelling for long periods or who is likely to need medical care while abroad is also at increased risk. 

Hepatitis B is found worldwide, but it's more common in sub-Saharan Africa, most of Asia, the Pacific islands, parts of South America, southern parts of Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

The hepatitis B vaccination generally involves a course of three injections. Depending on how quickly you need protection, these may be spread over a period as long as six months or as short as three weeks.

A combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B jab is also available if you are likely to be at risk of both these conditions while travelling.

 

Japanese encephalitis vaccination

Vaccination against Japanese encephalitis is usually recommended if you're planning an extended stay (usually at least a month) in a country where the condition is widespread.

It's particularly important if you are visiting during the rainy season, if you are going to visit rural areas (such as rice fields or marshlands), or you will be taking part in any activities that may increase your risk of becoming infected (such as cycling or camping).

Japanese encephalitis is present across huge areas of Asia, stretching from the Pacific islands in the east to the borders of Pakistan in the west. It is found as far north as Korea and as far south as Papua New Guinea.

Vaccination against Japanese encephalitis usually consists of two injections, with the second dose given 28 days after the first. Ideally, you need to have the second dose a month before you leave.

 

Meningococcal meningitis vaccination

Vaccination against meningococcal meningitis is usually recommended if you're travelling to areas at risk and your planned activities put you at higher risk, for example if you're a long-term traveller who has close contact with the local population.

High-risk areas for meningococcal meningitis include parts of Africa and Saudi Arabia. All travellers to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages are required to show proof of vaccination.

If travelling to a high-risk area, you should be vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis with an ACWY vaccine (also known as the quadrivalent meningococcal meningitis vaccine). This is given as a single injection and it should be given two to three weeks before you travel.

You should have the ACWY vaccine before travelling to high-risk areas even if you had the meningitis C vaccine as a child.

 

MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination

The MMR vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella is routinely given to all children in the Cyprus. You should ensure you and your children are up to date with your routine vaccinations before you travel.

If you've not been fully vaccinated against these conditions or you're not already immune, the MMR vaccination is recommended before travelling to areas where these conditions are widespread or where there has been a recent outbreak.

The MMR vaccine is given as two injections. These are usually given when a child is 12-13 months old and when they start school. However, adults can have the two doses one month apart and children can have them three months apart if necessary.

You should ideally have the final dose at least two weeks before you leave.

 

Polio vaccination

A combined vaccination that protects against diphtheria, polio and tetanus is routinely given to all children in the Cyprus. You should ensure you and your children are up to date with your routine vaccinations before you travel.

Further booster doses are usually only recommended if you're going to visit parts of the world where polio is widespread and your last vaccination dose was more than 10 years ago.

Currently, the condition is most common in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, but it's also a risk in other regions of the world.

Additional doses of the vaccination are given in a single 3-in-1 Td/IPV (tetanus, diphtheria and polio) injection.

 

Rabies vaccination

Vaccination against rabies is advised if you're travelling to an area where rabies is common in animals, particularly if you are staying for a month or more, there is limited access to medical services and you will be carrying out activities that could expose you to rabies (such as cycling or running).

Rabies can be found in many parts of the world, including the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and some parts of Eastern Europe.

Vaccination usually requires a course of three injections. The second dose is given seven days after the first and the third dose is given 14-21 days after the second.

Further doses are not usually recommended for travellers, unless it has been more than 10 years since you were first vaccinated and you are visiting an area with a high risk of rabies.

 

Tetanus vaccination

A combined vaccination that protects against diphtheria, polio and tetanus is routinely given to all children in the Cyprus. You should ensure you and your children are up to date with your routine vaccinations before you travel.

Further booster doses are usually only recommended if you're travelling to areas where access to medical services is likely to be limited or your last vaccination dose was more than 10 years ago.

Additional doses of the vaccination are given in a single 3-in-1 Td/IPV (tetanus, diphtheria and polio) injection.

 

Tick-borne encephalitis vaccination

Vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is usually recommended for anyone who plans to live or work in a high-risk area, or hike and camp in these areas during late spring or summer.

The ticks that cause TBE are mainly found in forested areas of central, eastern and northern Europe, although at-risk areas also include eastern Russia and some countries in East Asia (particularly forested regions of China and Japan).

The vaccination requires a course of three injections for full protection. The second dose is given one to three months after the first and provides immunity for about one year. A third dose, given 5-12 months after the second, provides immunity for up to three years.

The course can sometimes be accelerated if necessary. This involves two doses being given two weeks apart.

Booster doses of the vaccine are recommended every three years if necessary.

 

Tuberculosis (TB) vaccination

Vaccination against tuberculosis (TB) is given to some children in the Cyprus who are at increased risk from tuberculosis.

For travellers, the BCG vaccination (which protects against TB) is recommended for people under 16 years old who will be living or working with local people for three months or more and have not been previously vaccinated.

Parts of the world that have high rates of TB include sub-Saharan and west Africa, South East Asia, Russia, China, South America and the western Pacific region.

The BCG vaccine is given as a single injection.

 

Typhoid vaccination

Vaccination against typhoid fever is recommended if you are travelling to parts of the world where the condition is common, particularly if you will be staying or working with local people or you will have frequent or prolonged exposure to conditions where sanitation and food hygiene are likely to be poor.

High-risk areas include parts of Africa, Central America, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, South America and South and South East Asia.

Two main vaccines are available for typhoid fever. One is given as a single injection and one is given as three capsules to take on alternate days. It is also possible to have a combined hepatitis A and typhoid jab.

Ideally, the typhoid vaccine should be given at least one month before you travel, but it can be given closer to your travel date if necessary.

Booster vaccinations are recommended every three years if you continue to be at risk of infection.

 

Yellow fever vaccination

Vaccination against yellow fever is advised if you're travelling to areas where there's a risk of yellow fever transmission. Some countries require proof of vaccination certificate before they let you enter the country.

Yellow fever is most common in some areas of tropical Africa and South America.

A booster dose of the yellow fever vaccine is currently recommended every 10 years if you are still at risk. However, this is likely to change in the future as recent evidence suggests that a single dose offers life-long protection.

You must have a yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days before you travel.


Where further advice is required

Speak to your GP before having any vaccinations if:

  • you are pregnant
  • you are breastfeeding
  • you have an immune deficiency
  • you have any allergies