Travel health and vaccinations

If you're planning to travel outside the UK, your travel health needs will depend on your individual situation. You’ll have to consider:

  • your destination
  • how long you'll stay
  • what you’ll be doing
  • your general health

Travel risk assessment

A pre-travel risk assessment provides a good opportunity to discuss travel-associated risk management with your GP, practice nurse or private healthcare provider.

You'll need to contact your GP practice to arrange this, ideally 6 to 8 weeks before you leave. If your trip is sooner, contact them anyway. They may still help and could provide vital health information.

During the assessment, your GP or practice nurse will:

  • confirm if you're up-to-date with your routine immunisations
  • assess your particular health risks
  • recommend any vaccines and/or anti-malarial tablets you may need

Alternatively, you can visit a private travel vaccination clinic for your UK boosters and other travel vaccinations.

Travel vaccinations

The following travel vaccinations are free on the NHS in Scotland:

  • diphtheria, polio and tetanus (combined booster)
  • hepatitis A
  • typhoid
  • cholera

You'll likely to have to pay for vaccinations against:

  • yellow fever
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • tick-borne encephalitis
  • rabies

Additionally, you might have to pay for the following vaccinations if they're only required for travel purposes:

  • hepatitis B
  • meningitis
  • tuberculosis (TB)

Proof of vaccination

Some countries require you to have proof of particular vaccinations before they allow entry.

Yellow fever vaccines are only available from designated centres. You can find clinics in Scotland that offer yellow fever vaccination on the he Health Protection Scotland website.

Travel health advice

Many of the health risks experienced by travellers can't be prevented by vaccinations or anti-malarial tablets and other preventive measures should be taken.

The fitfortravel website provides health information for people travelling abroad from the UK, including:

Travelling with medications

If you intend on travelling with medication (including over-the-counter medications) check for any restrictions on medications before you travel. You can do this by contacting the embassy of the country you're visiting.

You can find further information and advice on travelling with medications on the fitfortravel website.

Travel safety advice

You can find country-specific safety and security advice through the GOV.UK website.

Phone your GP to arrange a pre-travel risk assessment