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Recommended vaccinations

Knowing you and your loved ones have the necessary vaccinations gives you peace of mind when relocating to another country.

Before you travel, ensure that your routine vaccinations, such as MMR, tetanus, and polio are up-to-date, and to be vigilant for any developing symptoms.

You can find the current, complete routine immunisation schedule for the UK on the NHS website.

Contact your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before travel to book your vaccinations. Some vaccinations are recommended for all travellers, and additional immunisations are likely to be recommended depending on underlying health problems such as where you are travelling from and to and your type of work.

Recommended for most travellers

Hepatitis A

  • Type: Viral infection.
  • Transmission: Contaminated food and water or direct contact with an infected person.
  • Symptoms: Mild or often absent in children – the disease becomes more serious with age.
  • Recommended for: Everyone – particularly long-stay travellers or those visiting areas with poor sanitation.
  • Vaccine: Well-tolerated and long lasting.

Tetanus

  • Type: Toxin released by bacteria.
  • Transmission: Soil and manure, often transmitted through open wounds.
  • Symptoms: Spasms, stiffness in the jaw, difficulty swallowing.
  • Recommended for: In the UK the tetanus vaccine is combined with Diphtheria and Pertussis. Speak with your doctor to confirm if you have received the combination vaccine covering these.
  • Vaccine: Booster dose recommended even if a standard course has been completed if over ten years ago.

Typhoid  

  • Type: Bacterial infection.
  • Transmission: Contaminated food and water.
  • Symptoms: Aches and pains, fever, diarrhoea or constipation, poor appetite, headaches, fever, lethargy, intestinal bleeding.
  • Recommended for: Everyone – particularly long-stay travellers or those visiting areas with poor sanitation.
  • Vaccine: Oral and injectable vaccines available.

Recommended for some travellers

Cholera

  • Type: Bacterial infection.
  • Transmission: Contaminated food and water.
  • Symptoms: Severe watery diarrhoea.
  • Vaccine: Oral.
  • Recommended for: Aid workers or those visiting places where there is limited access to clean water and known outbreaks of cholera. Also, those whose medical history puts them at increased risk.

Hepatitis B

  • Type: Viral infection. About 2% of the population of Malaysia are thought to be infected.
  • Transmission: Exposure to infected blood or bodily fluids, either through sexual contact or contaminated medical equipment or sports injuries.
  • Symptoms: Abdominal or joint pain, fatigue, jaundice, dark urine, vomiting, fever, appetite loss.
  • Vaccine: Injection series.
  • Recommended for: Could be considered for all travellers but in particular, those who practice unprotected sex, health workers or people likely to come into contact with bodily fluids, those travelling for health procedures abroad, those practising contact sports, those adopting a child from this country and long-stay travellers.

Japenese Encephalitis

  • Type: Viral infection.
  • Transmission: Transmitted to humans from animals (e.g., pigs and birds) via mosquitos. which breed in paddy fields. These mosquitos tend to be most active during the hours from dusk until dawn. Most reported cases have been in Penang, Perak, Johor, Sarawak and Selangor.  
  • Symptoms: Fever, chills, headache, nausea. Progress to brain, seizures paralysis and coma are possible.  
  • Vaccine: Injection series.
  • Recommended for: Those who are travelling in areas where the mosquito breeds, such as paddy fields and marshlands, or pig farms in rural areas.

Rabies

  • Type: Viral infection. Rabies has been reported in domestic and wild animals in Malaysia.
  • Transmission: Transmitted to a human, or another animal, through the saliva of an infected animal (often dogs, in some locations, bats) usually by way of a bite or contact (e.g., scratch or lick) with saliva on mucous membranes (e.g., eyes).
  • Symptoms: Though rare, symptoms of the virus can be slow to develop, and the condition is almost always fatal unless the virus is prevented by swift post-exposure actions. National guidelines relating to post-exposure treatment can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rabies-post-exposure-prophylaxis-management-guidelines
  • Vaccine: Injection. A booster may be required.  
  • Recommended for: Laboratory staff, animal handlers, some Customs officials, those travelling to areas where post-exposure treatment is not available or there is a lack of medical facilities, those taking part in activities such as running long distance or cycling, children and long-stay travellers.

Tuberculosis

  • Type: Bacterial infection.
  • Transmission: Inhalation of respiratory droplets from infected person, often following frequent or prolonged close contact.
  • Vaccine: There are specific contraindications associated with the BCG vaccine — must be administered intradermally by a trained professional, with no booster and no further vaccines administered to that limb for three months. A tuberculin skin test is required before vaccination for children and those over 35, as well as a risk assessment for the latter.
  • Recommended for: Those with increased risk of exposure, children who are going to live in the country for more than six months, health care workers, prison staff and vets.

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