We often get calls from people wanting to know how far in advance of their trip they should be getting vaccines. In general we recommend making an appointment 4- 6 weeks before departure. This gives us plenty of time to prepare you for your trip (vaccination against hepatitis B or rabies for example requires more than one shot), and is close enough for us to advise you of any current disease outbreaks that might be relevant to your itinerary. Also a small percentage of people having vaccines will experience some mild side effects (often 3-7 days afterwards) and no-one wants to be feeling out of sorts whilst on holiday.
Coming in well ahead of time is particularly important for anyone who is immunosuppressed, with a complicated medical history, who was unvaccinated as a child or who plans to be away for an extended period of time. There is often lots to talk about and more than one visit may be required.
Leaving sooner than 4 weeks from now? It’s not too late, so still make an appointment. Be aware however that coming for an appointment with only a few days until departure may mean we can’t cover you for all the things you may be at risk of. The Yellow Fever certificate for example, isn’t valid until 10 days after vaccination. Don’t forget that a travel consultation is also much more than just vaccination. Even if you have no vaccines you need to know how to minimise your risk of disease and may for example need altitude sickness or malaria tablets. You may also choose to take a prescription self treatment kit with you, for prompt and reliable treatment of gastro and other ailments. There is always plenty to discuss!