Every Year Australian travellers become ill or even die while travelling overseas. A basic health check-up and travel vaccinations can prevent overseas infectious diseases. Vaccines can prevent you from contracting some diseases, but it’s also important to remember:
New vaccines are constantly being released but diseases continue to evolve so it is important get advice from a qualified GP.
Vaccinations may be an entry requirement of some countries so check the requirements of the countries you are intending to visit or transit. In some countries you may be refused entry or required to have the vaccination at the border. Dr Annette Beaufils can give you medical advice and the required vaccinations prior to leaving Australia.
It’s never too late to vaccinate; however, some vaccines require a long period to take effect and more than one dose may be needed. In addition to travel vaccinations you may need boosters for childhood vaccines.
Health risks within a country can vary from one region to another and local authorities may be slow to announce outbreaks of disease. Dr Annette will inform you of the vaccinations required for the country that you are travelling to.
Before making an appointment for travel vaccinations you need to:
- Have decided on the length of your trip, the type of accommodation that you will be staying in and activities that you will be involved in.
- Have an itinerary so that we can give you the best possible advice.
When making an appointment for travel vaccinations you need to:
- Make your appointment at least 6 weeks before you intend to travel
- Advise reception that your appointment is for travel vaccinations
- Let Dr Beaufils know if you have any chronic illness, allergies or are taking any medications
|Vaccine||Duration of Action||No of Doses|
|Hepatitis A||10 years or longer||2|
|Yellow Fever||10 Years||1|
|Japanese Encephalitis||3 Years||3|
|Influenza Vaccination||1 Year||1|
|Tetanus and Diphtheria||10 Years||1 booster|
|Measles, Mumps and Rubella||Lifetime||1 booster born 1966-1983|
|Diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough||10 years||1 booster|
|Meningococcal ACWY||2 years possibly longer||1|
|Hepatitis A and Typhoid||Lifetime 3 years||1|
|Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B||10 years||3|
It’s an offence to carry or send Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medication overseas unless it’s for your own personal use, or for the use of someone travelling with you. You could be fined $5,000 and spend two years in prison if you break the law.
If you are taking medicines overseas, it is recommended that you:
- Discuss with your doctor the medication you’ll need to take.
- Carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medication is, how much you’ll be taking with you, and stating that it’s for your own personal use.
- Leave the medication in its original packaging so it’s clearly labelled with your name and dosage instructions
- If you’re travelling with medication, make sure it’s legal in the countries you’re visiting by contacting the relevant foreign mission in Australia.
- If you need to travel with large quantities of medication, it’s good practice to separate the quantity between your luggage in case bags go missing.
- Keep all medication in the original, labelled container to avoid customs problems. If you have to inject your medication, it may be preferable to carry your own needles and syringes if it’s allowed in the countries you’re visiting.
- If you buy needles and syringes overseas, ensure they are sealed and sterile.
- Take enough medication to cover the length of your trip.
- If you need to purchase medication at your destination, be careful not to buy imitation or counterfeit medications and prescription drugs, and always check the strength of a medication with a doctor. Be aware that packaging and labeling may be similar to those available in Australia, but the strength and active ingredients can vary from country to country.
Dr Annette Beaufils is happy to discuss your medication needs, provide a statement of medication you are on and arrange adequate supply of prescription medication before you leave.