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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In April 2018, we met at work and bonded over our love of bikes and cycling! Within months we planned our first John O’Groats to Lands End together.

Luckily for us, Stewart is an experienced cyclist and has already completed a solo 2500 mile JOGLE. Zoe had been cycling for years, but only started taking cycling more seriously in 2017. Since we met cycling has been better and more adventurous than ever!

As of the 31st of March 2019 we are cycling 24,000 miles around the entire world.


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