Vaccinations for International Cycling

Vaccinations for International Cycling

International cycle touring likely means you’re going to need to think about vaccinations.

Vaccinations sometimes need multiple doses within a time window, so good planning is essential. Some vaccinations you can get on the NHS, and others you will need to pay for. Our vaccinations cost an eye-watering £650/each – and we didn’t budget for it!

We found the vaccinations to be pretty much fine, Stew suffered slightly more than me, but had 5 jabs in one day for his first session, so by 4pm he couldn’t lift his arms on this particular day.

The below details our experience, the vaccinations we had and our thoughts/notes.

NHS vaccinations

  1. Hepatitis A & B (3 doses + a 12 month booster)

This jab is an interesting one, if your practise will give you Twinrix you could save some money.

Twinrix is Hepatitis A & B combined. If you have the combined jab you won’t need to buy Hepatitis B. In some cases the NHS will give you hepatitis A only, leaving you to buy the hepatitis B jab; this is what happened to Stew.

Ideally you’d give plenty of notice to your doctor so you can organise your 12 months booster before you go away. We didn’t do this so we’ll have to find a booster on the road, I hear this is easy, but I will keep you posted.

  1. Tetanus, diphtheria, and polio (one dose)
  2. Typhoid (one dose)

Travel pharmacy vaccinations 

We used Boots to sort all of vaccinations and we found their process really good. We booked a consultation which took about an hour. The pharmacist puts every country visiting into the PC which pulls up a report of suggested vaccinations. From here the pharmacist can talk you through each vaccine and a judgment is made on what you do/do not need. Some might be suggested but not necessary, for example Cholera – we haven’t had this, but we could’ve if we wanted to. Some might be able to get Cholera on the NHS depending on your personal circumstance (it isn’t standard).

Once the consultation is out the way you just book your appointments at set times, so the vaccinations have time to work.

  1. Rabies (3 doses)

Approximately £55/dose, £165/course, course length 28 days.

There is a 7 day course now, but you should never leave vaccinations until the last minute. It’s best practise to give the vaccinations good time. Get to your doctor and pharmacy as early as you can 🙂

The one thing to note about Rabies is that once you’re vaccinated you are not protected in full. If you are bitten you must still seek medical help. Simply put, the rabies vaccination means treatment after a bite is simpler with the vaccine and it also buys you more time. The take home message is if you are bitten/scratched you should get to a hospital within 24 hours.  £165 each is quite a lot, but to us it was a no brainer

  1. Tick borne encephalitis (3 doses)

Approximately £65/dose, £195/course, course length 1 – 12 months.

We did our first 2 doses within a month. Our third dose will be due when we’re on the road. We’ll need to see where we can get a dose on the road.

  1. Japanese encephalitis (2 doses)

Approximately £90/dose, £180/course, course length 28 days

As of March 2019 this page is true to our knowledge. It is critical that you check with a medial professional which vaccinations you need and when! Our medical practises were really helpful and Boots travel pharmacy for everything else 🙂

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We're Zoe & Stewart and we've been cycling around the world since March 2019.

This blog was born in 2017 when Stew cycled a 2,500 mile, solo John O' Groats to Land's End (JOGLE) along the west coast of the UK.

At the time Stew was planning a world cycling tour for his 30th birthday, but his plans changed when he met me and invited me along on this trip of a lifetime. I took no hesitation in saying "YES I'd love to come". We quickly threw ourselves into a 1,022 mile bike tour of the UK to make sure I enjoyed it - needless to say - I love it!

We've since cycled over 20 countries together and I love to share our adventures on this blog.

You can also download our tried and tested routes, and soon we're bringing you gear reviews, guides, bike equipment lists, reviews and more.

I hope you enjoy the blog!


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