NHS Service

Vaccinations Required for Travel to The Caribbean

You’ve finally booked in that long awaited holiday in the sun! Whether you have planned an adventurous day in old San Juan, snorkeling in Aruba or sunbathing in Grand Cayman, you have started down the road to the holiday of your dreams! Trying to sort out which vaccines you need in order to travel to The Caribbean can be confusing. At Touchwood Pharmacy, we offer expert pharmaceutical advice and travel vaccines you will need to plan your trip to The Caribbean.
Caribbean

What vaccines are mandatory for The Caribbean?

Minimum recommended vaccines include:  

  • Routine vaccines such as:
    • Measles
    • Mumps 
    • Rubella
    • Polio 
    • Tetanus 
    • Diphtheria 
    • Whooping cough
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow Fever

Touchwood Pharmacy offers advice and vaccinations to prepare you for your trip to the Caribbean. Here is more information about what you’ll need:

Hepatitis Vaccine for Travel to The Caribbean

Hepatitis A is spread from close personal contact with an infected person. It is very contagious and can be spread with or without symptoms. You can become infected with Hepatitis A through caring for a person who is ill, certain types of sexual contact and using drugs with others. The disease is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV) which is found in the stool and blood of infected people. This vaccine is required when travelling to an area with poor levels of sanitation, and Hepatitis A is common.  

Typhoid Vaccine for Travel to The Caribbean

Typhoid is spread through sewage contamination of food or water. If contaminated water is used to wash food, or if someone who has Typhoid fails to clean their hands sufficiently after using the bathroom, it can spread. Vaccination is recommended against typhoid fever alongside taking extra precautions such as practicing effective personal and hand hygiene as well as observing strict food and water safety measures. If you do contract Typhoid fever, it is potentially fatal if left untreated. Because certain areas of The Caribbean are remote or have poor sanitation and limited access to clean water, Typhoid vaccination is recommended prior to a departure to The Caribbean. 

Polio Booster for Travel to The Caribbean

Polio is most frequently spread through contact with the faeces of an infected person. Less frequently, it spreads through droplets from a sneeze or cough from an infected person.  Good hand washing can help prevent the spread, but vaccination is the best defense. Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly disease that attacks the nervous system that can prove fatal.

Diphtheria Vaccine for Travel to The Caribbean

The Caribbean is one of the locations endemic for diphtheria due to low rates of vaccine uptake. Diphtheria bacteria spreads through droplets from coughing or sneezing, as well as through touching infected open sores or ulcers. This means it can be caught as easily as a cold or flu if you happen to be in the same room as someone who is infected. Diphtheria vaccines are routinely given during childhood in the UK, but a booster shot is recommended if you are going to a part of the world where the disease is widespread. Diphtheria is a potentially fatal contagious bacterial infection that mainly affects the nose and throat as well as the skin on occasion.  

Tetanus Vaccine for Travel to The Caribbean

Tetanus does not spread from person to person like other vaccine preventable diseases. It spreads when bacteria trapped in soil, dust and manure enters the body through breaks in human skin. This usually happens because of a puncture wound or a cut caused by a contaminated object like a nail or a wire. Tetanus, or lockjaw, is an infection that causes painful muscle contractions and is usually vaccinated against using a combined diphtheria, polio and tetanus vaccine during childhood in the UK. Our pharmacists can tell you whether you may need a booster to travel, depending on how long ago your last set of vaccinations has been or whether you can provide evidence of those vaccinations before departure.  

Yellow Fever Vaccine for Travel to The Caribbean

Yellow Fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.  “Yellow” in the name refers to the yellowing of the eyes and skin that affects some patients which is also called “jaundice”. This disease is prevalent in areas of the Caribbean so Yellow Fever vaccination is a requirement to travel there. The Yellow Fever vaccination must be administered at least 10 days before travel and must be issued with a Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis when you have the vaccine, which is valid for life. To avoid yellow fever infection not only is vaccination recommended, it is suggested that additional precautions be taken to avoid mosquito bites. These include utilising DDT insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and sleeping with air conditioning or a mosquito net over your bed at night.  

You may also require a Cholera or Rabies vaccine depending on your itinerary.

Call today or book your appointment online for Caribbean