Vaccines and medicines for travel

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Information on vaccines and medicines for travel is available from Health Protection Scotland, from Travax, from the National Travel Health Network and Centre and from Medicines Information. Patients can also be directed to fitfortravel.  Advice for GPs on travel immunisations is available at www.bma.org.uk.

Vaccines

Vaccine components

Brands available

Prescription status (NHS or private) and additional information

Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) (intradermal)

SSI®

 

NHS

For those under 16 years of age who are going to live with local people for more than 3 months in a high-risk country – refer to procedure as above on Intranet.

Cholera 1,2

Dukoral®  

(oral suspension)

NHS

No longer recommended for routine use. It can be offered to humanitarian aid and relief workers, and travellers with remote itineraries in areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to safe water and medical care.

Diptheria

(adsorbed diphtheria (low-dose), tetanus and poliomyelitis (inactivated), adults and children over 10 years)

Revaxis®

 

NHS

For individuals aged 10 years and over.

Hepatitis A single component

 

Avaxim®

Havrix Monodose®

Havrix Junior Monodose®

Vaqta® Paediatric

Vaqta® Adult

NHS

Hepatitis A and hepatitis B (combined)

Ambirix®

Twinrix®

NHS

Hepatitis A with typhoid polysaccharide1

ViATIM®

NHS

Hepatitis B single component

Engerix B®

Fendrix®

HBvaxPRO®

Private

Japanese encephalitis 1,2

Ixiaro®

Private

Meningococcal A, C, W135 and Y polysaccharide1

ACWY Vax®

Private

Meningococcal A, C, W135 and Y conjugate

Menveo®

Nimenrix®▼

Private

Poliomyelitis

(adsorbed diphtheria (low-dose), tetanus and poliomyelitis (inactivated), adults and children over 10 years )

Revaxis®

 

NHS

Rabies

Rabies vaccine

Rabipur®

Private

 

Tetanus

(adsorbed diphtheria (low-dose), tetanus and poliomyelitis (inactivated), adults and children over 10 years)

Revaxis®

 

NHS

Tick-borne encephalitis 1,2

TicoVac®

TicoVac® preparations

Private

 

Typhoid1

 

Typhim Vi®

Vivotif® live oral

NHS

Yellow fever1,2

Stamaril®

Private

Only from yellow fever vaccination centres.

  1. Not stocked in Highland Hospitals   2. Non-Formulary    

Hospital pharmacies do not stock or supply vaccines solely used as travel vaccines.  Any vaccines for use outwith the UK immunisation programme must be supplied on a GP10 (or private prescription if applicable) and not taken from the stock provided for the childhood programme or supplied on stock order forms (GP10A) as these forms are intended only for items for immediate use.

Advise patients that travel vaccinations aim to minimise risk and not eliminate it. Few vaccines offer 100% protection against disease.

Many travellers do not allow a sufficient time period for the full and licensed vaccination schedule to be administered. In many cases, a shortened or rapid schedule can be given and offers more protection than no vaccination at all. If there has been a deviation from the licensed vaccination schedule, it is recommended that practices obtain a signed recognition and consent from the patient stating that they have been made aware of the increased risk as a result.

Medicines

Increasing numbers of people are travelling from the UK to exotic and remote destinations, and health professionals giving advice on travel health must be competent to do so.

All General Practices should be registered users of Travax. For nursing staff, the Royal College of Nursing has published Travel health nursing: career and competence development.

Malaria prophylaxis

National decisions on prescription status are based on the balance of personal risk versus population risk. Antimalarials should not be prescribed for prophylaxis on the NHS; a private prescription must be issued.  If preferred, community pharmacies can advise on and sell non-prescription antimalarial medicines over the counter. Community pharmacies can also advise on other issues related to travel medicine.  In addition to Travax, additional information is available at fitfortravel.

Taking medicines out of the UK

Patients requiring regular repeat medication for a stable pre-existing illness may be supplied with an NHS prescription for a maximum of three months treatment, to provide treatment for the journey and until further supplies can be secured at the destination. 

If patients are to be out of the UK for longer than this then they may require on-going medical review and it would be more appropriate to provide a letter detailing the patient’s medicines until they can make arrangements to get further supplies of medicines at their destination.

Advice for patients requesting medicines for taking on extended holidays and for taking prescribed controlled drugs outside the UK is available at NHS Choices - Can I take my medicine abroad.

Prophylactic medication

A person is not entitled to NHS provision of drugs where there is no existing condition. Any requests for items to be prescribed in case of illnesses contracted whilst travelling abroad (eg ciprofloxacin or oral rehydration sachets for diarrhoea) are a private transaction.