We all love getting away from it all whilst spending time with friends and family. Whether that’s to experience new and vibrant cultures, or to simply catch some rays and enjoy a much-deserved rest. That’s why it’s essential that when we do go away, we spend our time purely doing the things we enjoy, and not worrying about our health.

However, in order to do this, it’s important to plan ahead. There is no doubt that vaccinations are not at the top of your list of pre-holiday priorities, what with deciding which items are actually essential and which are hindering your success, when you’re trying to meet that 30kg baggage allowance. Nonetheless, it’s something that every one of us should look into before we head off.

You may not be aware, but the NHS recommends you should look at your vaccination requirements at least eight weeks prior to your holiday.  But, despite the recommendations, recent research from travel insurance specialist Columbus Direct reveals that the majority of us Brits don’t bother to make sure we are fully vaccinated against illness and disease before we head overseas – potentially putting ourselves and our families at risk.

The travel insurance specialist reports that six out of ten travellers shun getting any inoculations before going away.  And the reasons?  As many as 13% of British holiday makers said that the fear of unpleasant side-effects from the immunisations put them off.  A further 13% said that the lack of time between booking their holiday and jetting off (primarily due to the increase in last-minute deals to long haul destinations) meant that they missed out on the opportunity to get themselves vaccinated.  In addition, the perceived expense of injections deterred 11% of Brits.  A further 15% didn’t think vaccinations were necessary for European-only travel.

There are in fact a number of popular European destinations that guidelines recommend we prepare ourselves for.  So, as we plan our journeys to (hopefully) sunnier climes, here are just a few things to look out for:

  •   Tick-borne Encephalitis

If you’re thinking of camping in France, Italy or Greece this summer, are you aware of tick-borne Encephalitis? It’s largely spread from the bite of an infected tick and is more prevalent during the warmer months.  You’re advised to visit to your GP for the TicoVac vaccination and cover up skin with long sleeves and trousers, to protect against bites.

  • Measles

You might be surprised to hear that Italy is currently experiencing a measles epidemic with 1,500 reported cases this year – a sharp increase from the 840 reported cases in 2016. The World Health Organisation claims a fall out in vaccinations is to blame for the rise.  This highly infectious virus, which in the most serious cases can cause death, is preventable with an up-to-date MMR vaccination, two doses at least one month apart provides up to 97% protection.

Measles is also endemic in France and Germany.

  •   Hepatitis A

Are you aware that you’re recommended to have a Hepatitis A vaccination if you’re planning to holiday in Turkey. The disease is spread through consuming contaminated food and water or via person to person through faecal-oral route as well as through poor personal hygiene and sanitation.

  •  Tetanus

For France, Spain, Turkey, Italy and Greece you’re advised to make sure you’re up-to-date with your Tetanus vaccinations.  It’s contracted through the contamination of cuts and wounds via spores found in soil worldwide. Boosters are recommended in countries where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.

Whatever way you choose to spend them, holidays are undeniably an enjoyable time for all. They’re an opportunity to create memories with your loved ones, whilst taking a break from the stresses of everyday life. But, to ensure you have the best time in the sun, it’s important to make sure that you’re fully vaccinated against the risk of any potentially harmful illnesses.

Inoculations and vaccinations are widely available on the NHS for both adults and children but while vaccinations such as Tetanus, Typhoid and Polio are usually administered free of charge, others like Hepatitis B, Rabies and Tuberculosis could see you pay as much as £70 per dose. This can mount up to quite a sum when the whole family needs to be vaccinated.

At Paycare, we’re committed to helping you and your family access the healthcare you need, when you need it.  Did you know that as a Policyholder, you can claim back as much as 100% of the costs spent on vaccinations and inoculations*, up to the maximum entitlement available within your chosen premium?

Make sure you stay in the best of health this summer holiday and give yourself peace of mind that you have nothing to worry about other than having a good time.


·         Subject to plan type