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14 March 2012
When going abroad to be a TEFL teacher, you will be exploring some amazing countries, steeped in culture, with glorious weather. It will be an experience you will never forget. With such exotic locations, though, you will need to think about inoculations before going out there to give you peace of mind to enjoy your new career.
Each country has specific immunisations you will need, and the best place to check is at your local GP surgery, although the NHS provides a good guide here on what you will need. When you meet your GP, bring with you any documentation on where you plan on going. The more research you have done about what you need before going to your destination, the easier it will be to vaccinate you. Don't leave it until the last minute; find out two or three months before you intend to travel about the immunisations you might need.
As a general rule, the NHS offers the following immunisations for free: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio (all these three come as one); Typhoid; Hepatitis A and some combined vaccines such as Hep A and Hep B; & Cholera. As they are free, it is best to get these immunisations anyway, just in case. If you have had these immunisations before, but a few years have passed since you have had the inoculation, check up with your GP before travelling in case you need a booster.
Other important immunisations to consider include Yellow Fever, Rabies, Tuberculosis, Encephalitis and Meningitis. These are all more common in some countries than other, so check with the NHS or your GP. Sadly, you may have to pay for some of these, but the cost of the vaccine could be much cheaper than the healthcare needed if you catch one of them. Sometimes GPs can't order in some vaccines to their surgeries, if they recommend a vaccine but can't provide it, try and speak with a pharmacist to get the vaccine.
An important disease you can't be vaccinated against is Malaria. It is a prominent disease that can be caught abroad, particularly in South America or Africa. If you are going somewhere where you can catch malaria, check with your GP who can prescribe antimalarial tablets to take before you go.
We hope you have found this guide helpful. Of course, if you have any questions about immunisations please contact your local GP and make sure you are fully immunised before travel. If you have any other travel, job or TEFL enquiries please feel free to get in touch with us. This way you can spend more time enjoying your TEFL experience of a lifetime.
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