Travel Vaccines for South Africa

Your IPSA vaccine clinic

Depending on your present vaccine status and whereabouts in South Africa you are going, how long you are planning to stay in South Africa and what you will be doing while you are in South Africa, your IPSA vaccine specialist will give you the advice you need regarding the recommended extra vaccines you might require to protect yourself while you are in South Africa. Your IPSA physician will also discuss the country-specific medications that you might like to consider taking with you when you go to South Africa. It is best to attend your IPSA vaccine clinic at least four to six weeks prior to travelling to South Africa.


All travellers to South Africa

Firstly, you need to ensure that you are up to date with any routine vaccinations. You might also need to get some extra vaccinations if you are travelling to South Africa.

What are routine vaccines?

  • The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • The varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
  • The diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine
  • Your annual flu shot
  • The polio vaccine


What vaccines should most travellers to South Africa have?

In South Africa, both Hepatitis A and typhoid are risks.


Hepatitis A: The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends getting the hepatitis A vaccine, because, regardless of where you’re staying or where you’re eating, getting this disease from contaminated water/food when in South Africa is a risk.


Typhoid: The CDC recommends receiving the typhoid vaccine because of the risk of picking up typhoid from contaminated water and food. This is more likely if you are adventurous in terms of your diet, if you are going to visit South Africa’s more minor cities, or if you plan to stay with relatives/friends.


What vaccines should some travellers to South Africa have?

During your IPSA vaccine consultation, your IPSA specialist will discuss with you the medicines and vaccines that you will need for South Africa. This is determined according to how long you will be staying in South Africa, whereabouts you are going, what you intend to do when you are in South Africa, and it also depends on whether you are travelling to South Africa from a country outside of the UK.


Hepatitis B: You can contract hepatitis B from blood products, from sexual contact or from contaminated needles. If you do plan on sex with a new partner, on getting a piercing/tattoo, or on undergoing medical procedures while in South Africa, then the CDC does recommend the hepatitis B vaccine.


Malaria: During your vaccine consultation, your IPSA specialist will discuss malaria prevention (such as avoiding mosquito bites) while you are in South Africa. You might have to take anti-malarial (prescription) medicine prior to, during, and after travelling to South Africa, particularly if intending to visit low-altitude regions.


Rabies:  In South Africa, rabies is found in bats, in dogs and in other mammals. The CDC suggests having a rabies vaccine when you are at risk due to animal bites, for example when you:

  • Are going to partake in outdoor/other activities (like biking, or camping, or caving, or hiking, or adventure travel).
  • Will be working with/around animals (for example if you are a researcher, a veterinarian or a wildlife professional).
  • Are undertaking an extended trip or are moving permanently to South Africa.
  • Are more likely to get an animal bite on your neck/head (children are more prone to this as they will often play with animals and also may not report animal bites).


Yellow fever: South Africa has no yellow fever risk; however, the South African government requires proof of your yellow fever vaccination if you do enter South Africa from a yellow-fever risk country.


For your same-day IPSA South African vaccination consultation, simply call your nearest IPSA clinic or make your booking online.


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