Africa Travel Vaccinations

Your IPSA Vaccine Clinic

Depending on your current vaccine status and where in Africa you are going, how long you plan to stay in Africa and what you will be doing while you are in Africa, your IPSA vaccine specialist will advise you on the recommended additional vaccines you will require to protect yourself whilst in Africa. Your IPSA physician will also talk through any country-specific medications (e.g. anti-malarials) that you should consider taking with you on your trip to Africa.


All travellers to Africa

Firstly, ensure you are up to date with your routine vaccinations (e.g. your yearly flu shot, MMR etc.). You might also require some extra vaccinations when travelling to Africa.
What are the routine vaccines?

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid

What vaccines should most travellers to Africa have?

In Africa, there is a risk of both hepatitis A and typhoid.
Hepatitis A: The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends having the hepatitis A vaccine, as, regardless of where you are staying or where you are eating, there is a risk of getting this disease through contaminated water and food when in Africa.
Typhoid: Again, the CDC also recommends having the typhoid vaccine due to the risk of catching typhoid through contaminated water and food. This is especially the case if you are adventurous with your diet, if you are visiting any of Africa’s smaller cities, or if you are staying with relatives or with friends.

What vaccines should some travellers to Africa have?

During your vaccine consultation, your IPSA vaccine specialist will run through what medicines and vaccines you will need. This is based on how long you will be staying in the country, where you are going, what you will be doing when you are in Africa, and it will also depend on if you are travelling to Africa from a country other than the UK.
Hepatitis B: You can catch hepatitis B from blood products, sexual contact or contaminated needles. If you plan on having sex with a new partner, getting a piercing or tattoo, or undergoing any medical procedures whilst in Africa, then the CDC recommends having the hepatitis B vaccine.
Rabies: In Africa, rabies is found in bats, dogs, and other mammals. The CDC recommends having the rabies vaccine if you are at risk from animal bites such as when you:

  •  Are going to be involved in outdoor or other activities (like biking, camping, caving, hiking, or adventure travel).
  •  Will be working around/with animals (such as researchers, veterinarians or wildlife professionals).
  •  Are going to take a long trip or move to Africa permanently.
  •  Are more likely to receive animal bites to the neck/head, such as children, who tend to play more often with animals and might not report any bites.

Yellow fever: Africa does have a yellow fever risk, and yellow fever can be fatal. The virus is transmitted by mosquito bites.
Meningitis: Meningitis is serious and potentially fatal. When infected, the lining of your brain/spinal cord swells, resulting in blood poisoning, permanent disability or death. The disease spreads via sneezing/coughing and via close contact with infected people.
Cholera: Cholera, a small-intestine infection that can be fatal and causes acute diarrhoea/vomiting, causes electrolyte imbalance/dehydration. Cholera is rife in areas with inadequate sanitation conditions, questionable water quality and a lack of good food hygiene.
Tetanus, diphtheria and polio: The triple vaccine will protect you against all three diseases. Diphtheria is passed on through contaminated bed linen/clothing, though personal contact and via respiratory droplets. Tetanus spores in the soil contaminate wounds causing the disease. Polio is passed on through the oral or through the faecal/oral route.
Malaria: During your vaccine consultation, your IPSA specialist will discuss malaria prevention while you are travelling in Africa, as there is no vaccine for malaria. You might need to take some anti-malarial prescription medicine before, during, and after your travel to Africa.
For your same-day IPSA vaccination consultation, simply call your nearest IPSA clinic or make your booking online.