Before you travel: important reminder about routine United Kingdom (UK) vaccines
Before you travel check all your routine immunisations are up to date
Before travelling abroad, check you and your family are in date for all routine UK recommended vaccine courses and boosters.
When healthcare systems are disrupted and vaccine coverage declines, diseases like diphtheria, measles and polio often return. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a significant decline in childhood vaccination worldwide, related to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated disruption straining health systems .
Many diseases prevented by routine vaccination are no longer common in the UK but are still reported in other countries [2-4]. During international travel, routine UK recommended vaccines protect you and your family from infectious diseases like diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella and polio. Further information about these and other diseases is available in Topics in brief.
Diphtheria, mumps, rubella, polio and tetanus are now rare in the UK, thanks to the success of the routine UK vaccination programme . These diseases are still reported in regions where vaccines are in short supply or unavailable and international travellers who are not up to date with their vaccinations can become infected [2-5].
Measles continues to be reported in the UK, as some people missed routine MMR vaccines .
Summaries of the numbers of vaccine preventable diseases reported worldwide are available here:
Diphtheria, measles and tetanus outbreaks are not usually reported on the TravelHealthPro Outbreak Surveillance section as UK travellers should have had UK routine immunisations before travelling abroad.
Advice for travellers
Check you and your family are in date for all routine UK recommended vaccine courses and boosters before you travel. If you are not sure, check with your GP practice or a travel clinic. In the UK diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine and MMR vaccines are available free of charge as part of the UK routine vaccination schedule.
See our general advice for travellers for more information about preparing to travel abroad.
Advice for health professionals
Guidance on routine UK vaccines, including information about booster doses, is available in Immunisation against infectious disease.
This includes advice for those people whose immunisation status is uncertain.
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