Have I Left It Too Late?

Vaccination schedules vary and doctors vary in their level of understanding as to how long it takes to get effective vaccination cover. The immunology experts are often reviewing the “rules” of vaccination and the information disseminates somewhat slowly through the medical community. Travel-Bug makes it its business to have all this information at the fingertips of its staff at all times.

What is fair to say is that after a vaccine course, full cover will be effective about 10 days after the injections. Some diseases have incubation periods longer than this, so you can actually have the vaccine after exposure! It will also take you some time to get to far away places (2-3 days in some cases) where the more exotic diseases exist!

Below is a list of absolute minimum times that we consider vaccination will provide you with some cover. If you stay away a while, your cover will get better with time. If you have had the vaccines before the time is reduced to a day or 2.

Vaccine Minimum time
Hepatitis A Day of departure
Hepatitis B 4 days before departure
Oral Cholera vax 14 days if you have had it before
Yellow fever Day of departure
Typhoid 3 days
Rabies 1 day
Meningitis 1 day
JE vax 10 days
Childhood vaccines Day of departure (assuming you have had them before)
Flu vax 5 days

Of course, if you are travelling for 2 weeks plus, there is still value in having the vaccines after the cut off date, as it is only the first few days that you would be at risk.

Some of the vaccines (once the full schedule is completed) are for life (eg A, B, Polio, MMR, rabies), so having them late for this trip means you at least are having them in time for your next trip!!!