I'm travelling from South Africa to the UK.

Just asking if I need any shots? Any vaccinations? I'm travelling for 8 days. I leave in a week.

Nothing was said when I applied for a visa and now i'm panicking.

  • 3
    Definitely get something to protect yourself from excessive tea consumption… Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


I can't find any government advice from the South African government for South African travellers.

As such, I'll point you to the CDC website, giving advice to American travellers, which only recommends "routine vaccines" - you can follow the link to see what those are for Americans. (With a note that you could also choose to get Hep A (rare but can happen), Hep B (likewise) and Rabies (Last confirmed infection for someone who doesn't work with animals acquired in the UK was 1902, so this seems a somewhat odd recommendation).

You can also see what vaccinations are received by those who live in the UK, at the NHS website here. Note that many of these are not necessary for travellers, and most travellers will have received them in their own country. My quick summary of the list (I may have missed something) is:

Note that some of these are given because of their risk to small children (they wouldn't otherwise be given for adults), or for diseases that are effectivley or completely eliminated in the UK (eg Polio). Up until reasonably recentley, tuberculosis vaccinations were also given routinely. The presence of a vaccination on this list as given as part of the standard schedule in the UK does not necessarily imply that a traveller would require them before visiting.

As ever, for valid medical advice you should consult a medical professional, ideally one with some knowledge of your medical history. Health issues and vaccinations are almost never mentioned as part of visa applications - it's not the host governments concer to look after your health when visiting. The main expcetion to this is Yellow Fever, which some states require evidence of vaccination against before admitting travellers.

  • rabies is only found in a very small number of the bat population in the UK. Since they are a protected species and rather timid you would likely be doing something illegal anyway if you managed to get bitten by a bat. All in all I'd forgo the rabies shot and avoid molesting bats (if you can bear to do that for a whole holiday(!)) source: nhs.uk/Conditions/rabies/Pages/introduction.aspx (also live there)
    – MD-Tech
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 14:31
  • @MD-Tech I did think it a rather odd suggestion. As said, the only time I ever hear of human Rabies infections in the UK, they were acquired abroad,
    – CMaster
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 14:32
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    dailymail.co.uk/health/article-148224/… (warning: items in the daily mail appear more right wing than they actually are)
    – MD-Tech
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 14:34
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    From the bottom of that article: "The last confirmed case of rabies acquired in Britain occurred in 1902" - so currently running at about 1 human infection per century.
    – CMaster
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 15:03
  • Rabies? The vaccine for rabies can be took after being bitten... the OP could probably go to the UK, be bitten by a bat, go back to South Africa and take the vaccine there after his trip.
    – Bakuriu
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 18:16

There are no special vaccinations recommended for the UK, the basic recommendations are basically the same as in the rest of European Union and probably South Africa (but I am not sure here). For example take a look at: http://mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/europe/united_kingdom.php


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