The Urwin Pharmacy Group

Diphtheria Travel Vaccine 

What is Diphtheria? 

Diphtheria is a highly infectious bacterial infection which can be fatal and can affect the nose and throat and in some cases the skin. Diphtheria is typically spread by coughing and sneezing, close contact with infected people or contaminated clothes and bedding. Travellers should consider getting the diphtheria vaccine as it is safe and effective.

The bacterium can infect the nose and throat and release a toxin. The main symptoms of diphtheria include sore throat, difficulty and pain swallowing, fever, cough and headache. Older people and people with weakened immune systems are more at risk of the effects of diphtheria. The toxin produced may affect other organs which can be fatal.  


Diphtheria Vaccine

In the UK immunisation programme, a minimum of five diphtheria-containing vaccines should be offered, at appropriate intervals, to all individuals. Adults should consider having a booster vaccine when travelling to parts of the world where diphtheria is widespread. Travellers should get the vaccine two weeks before travel. 

Diphtheria Prevention 

The Diphtheria vaccine is the most effective way to prevent infection. Travellers should ensure that they are up to date with their routine vaccine according to the NHS vaccination schedule. Some types of diphtheria bacteria can spread from animals to humans and travellers are advised not to consume raw dairy products and avoid close contact with cattle and farm animals. Diphtheria is still a risk for unvaccinated travellers to countries where the uptake of diphtheria containing vaccines is low.

What travel vaccinations do I need?

Speak to one of our expert Pharmacists at your local Urwin Pharmacy branch about current travel advice and recommendations.