Your IPSA Medical vaccine specialist will assess your current vaccine status, and determine what vaccines you will require given whereabouts in Africa you plan to go, the length of your stay and what you will be doing whilst there. Your IPSA Medical vaccine specialist will also discuss country-specific medications that you might want to consider taking with you to Africa.

All travellers going to Africa

First, your IPSA Medical vaccine specialist will want to ensure you are up to date with routine vaccinations and you may also need to get some extra vaccinations, which he/she will advise you on during your vaccine consultation.

What routine vaccines will I need to have?

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid

What vaccines are recommended for most travellers to Africa?

Africa holds a risk for hepatitis A and typhoid.
Hepatitis A: The CDC recommends the hepatitis A vaccine, as, no matter where you plan to stay or what you plan to eat, hepatitis A can be contracted through contaminated food and water when you are in Africa.
Typhoid: The CDC recommends the typhoid vaccine as typhoid can be contracted through contaminated food and water, especially if you are slightly more adventurous with your diet, are visiting smaller African cities, or staying with friends/relatives.

What vaccines should some travellers to Africa have?

When you are at your IPSA Medical vaccine consultation, your IPSA Medical specialist will run through with you what medicines/vaccines you will need for your Africa trip based on the duration of your intended visit, where you plan to go, what you plan to do when in the country, and also if you are travelling to Africa from outside of Britain. In addition to hepatitis A and typhoid, the following vaccinations may be required. As Africa has different vaccine requirements for each country, additional vaccines may also be required, such as cholera, alongside anti-malarial medications, depending on which African countries you intend to visit. Your IPSA Medical physician will discuss this with you during your vaccine consultation.
Hepatitis B: You can contract hepatitis B from blood/blood products, sexual contacts or from contaminated needles. If you are planning on having sex with a new sexual partner, getting a tattoo/piercing or undergoing certain medical treatments/procedures then the hepatitis B vaccine is recommended.
Meningitis: Meningitis (meningococcal meningitis) is not only a serious infection, but it is also potentially fatal. This bacterial infection causes the lining of your brain and your spinal cord to swell and this can lead to blood poisoning. Death or a permanent disability can result from this infection, particularly if you develop blood poisoning. Meningitis spreads through sneezing, coughing and close contact with infected individuals.
Rabies: Rabies is found in dogs, bats and other mammals in Africa. You should have the rabies vaccine if you are in any way at risk from animal bites during your stay:

  • Are you going to be involved in outdoor/other activities (biking, caving, camping, hiking, adventure travel)?
  • Will you be working around and/or directly with animals (e.g. researchers, vets, wildlife professionals)?
  • Are you taking a long trip or moving permanently to the country?
  • Are you more likely to receive neck/head animal bites (e.g. children)?

Tetanus, diphtheria and polio: This triple vaccine protects against all three health issues. Diphtheria is transmitted via personal contact, respiratory droplets and contaminated bed linen, clothing etc. Tetanus spores live in the soil and tetanus is caused by contaminated wounds. Polio is transmitted via the oral or faecal/oral route.

Yellow fever: Certain countries in Africa have a high yellow fever risk. Yellow Fever is serious and sometimes fatal. It is caused by a mosquito-borne virus. It occurs in both urban and jungle environments and is especially common during the rainy season.
Cholera: Cholera, a potentially fatal small-intestine infection causing acute diarrhoea/vomiting, can lead to dehydration/electrolyte imbalance. Cholera occurs in areas with poor sanitation, poor water and poor food hygiene.
For your same-day IPSA Medical vaccination consultation, call your nearest IPSA Medical clinic or make your booking online.

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