Planning your gap year vaccinations

Get your gap year vaccinations for volunteering overseasKeeping healthy with your gap year vaccinations

When travelling it is imperative that you make sure that you do your utmost to stay healthy. This is often a topic which leaves many people completely lost and perplexed- where on earth to start? We have a few helpful pointers which might take the confusion out of planning for your gap year vaccinations:

1. Plan well before you go

Some jabs need to be done a minimum of six weeks before travel, and some vaccines (such as rabies) may need up to three visits. Visit your doctor at least two months before you are going to travel to find out what you will need. They will have access to your health records, and what you are already protected against. Many necessary vaccinations, such as diphtheria, hepatitis A and tyhoid, as well as boosters, are provided for by the NHS.

TIP: More and more people seem to be turning towards last minute gap years. If this is you, make sure that you get your injections done early, even if you don’t book your gap year early!

2. Get the right advice

Your gap year provider will be able to help you with general advice, however it is important to remember that we are not doctors! The Scottish NHS travel information site is an excellent resource. It gives information on recommended vaccinations for specific countires, as well as up to date malaria information. Also, it is great to get a health screening through travel doctors such as Interhealth.

3. Give all the details

It is useful for doctors to know the full details of where you are going, so that they can offer you the correct level of care. Taking a full itinerary can be very useful.

4. Remember: you are not invincible!

Even after having the recommended jabs, this does not make you invincible. You still need to be careful and take precautions to prevent illness from food, water, insects and animals. Make sure that you take a mosquito net and insect repellent even if you do have anti-malarials for example.

5. Make sure you have a medical kit

When travelling overseas it is important to be prepared. You might not be able to get some of the medical supplies overseas that you are used to at home. This should include the basics, such as antiseptic cream, plasters, Immodium, aspirin and sun cream!

For more information about gap year vaccinations on Oyster Worldwide gap years, make sure that you speak with your Destination Manager for full advice.

This advice has been given by Nick Trend from the Telegraph Travel section.

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