A Guide to UAE Travel Vaccines: Essential List, Costs, and Key Information

asmaa - | Arab News

If you're planning a trip outside the UAE, it's crucial to think beyond booking flights and packing.

Travel Vaccinations and Essential Preparations for UAE Residents

Understanding potential health risks at your destination and taking preventive measures is key to ensuring a safe journey.

Travel exposes you to diseases that may not be present in the UAE, making vaccinations an important consideration. The UAE offers a travelers' vaccination service that provides consultations and recommended vaccines based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Determining Your Vaccination Needs

Vaccination requirements vary depending on factors such as your destination, duration of stay, planned activities, and personal health. Here’s a broad overview of common vaccines for international travelers:

  1. Hepatitis A and B protect against liver infections caused by contaminated food or water.
  2. Typhoid fever prevents bacterial infection from contaminated food or water.
  3. Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis): protects against muscle spasms, respiratory issues, and whooping cough.
  4. Rabies: It is essential for high-risk areas to prevent this fatal viral infection from animal bites.
  5. Meningococcal Meningitis: protects against bacterial infections affecting the brain and spinal cord, crucial for regions where specific strains are prevalent.

Vaccinations Based on Destination and Activities

  • Malaria: Found in parts of Africa, Asia, and South America; preventive medication or vaccination may be required.
  • Japanese encephalitis: mosquito-borne in Southeast Asia, with vaccination recommended during monsoon season.
  • Yellow fever is common in parts of Africa and South America; vaccination is often required for entry into some countries.
  • Haemorrhagic Fever Viruses: Includes Dengue, Zika, and Ebola, with varying vaccination options based on the virus and region.

Additional vaccines to consider

Depending on your travel plans, you might need other vaccines or boosters, such as:

  • Covid-19
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholera
  • Flu (Influenza)
  • MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • Shingles

For UAE pilgrims heading to Saudi Arabia for Umrah and Haj, influenza vaccinations are mandatory. The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention requires presenting an influenza vaccination card for travel.

Special Considerations

Consult with a family medicine doctor if you are:

  • Pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • Experiencing an immune deficiency
  • Allergic to certain substances

Vaccination requirements and procedures

  • Vaccines should not be administered to individuals who have previously had allergic reactions to vaccine components.
  • Medical certificates are necessary for immune-compromised and cancer patients undergoing treatment.
  • Avoid vaccination if you are experiencing moderate-to-severe health conditions at the time.

For children traveling, ensure vaccinations align with the stages of the stages of the National Immunization Programme. UAE nationals and residents need to pay for the initial issuance of an International Immunization Card and replacements if lost. Immunization is free for UAE nationals for travel purposes, but residents are subject to vaccination fees.

Costs and service fees

Vaccination services are provided through Emirates Health Services (EHS) and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), with varying costs depending on the vaccine. For example:

  • Yellow Fever: Dh120
  • Hepatitis A: Dh150 per dose
  • Rabies: Dh300 per dose
  • Seasonal Influenza: Dh50

Consultation fees apply, and these vary based on individual insurance coverage. In Dubai, online consultations cost Dh150, guiding you to the nearest clinic for necessary vaccinations.

To receive travel vaccinations:

  1. Book a consultation appointment.
  2. Register at the service center and pay the necessary fees.
  3. Discuss your health, medical history, and travel plans with the doctor.
  4. Receive recommended vaccinations and update your international vaccination card.

Documents needed include your Emirates National ID, health insurance, and Emirates health services card for residents, which can exempt you from consultation fees.

Proper vaccination planning is vital for safe international travel, ensuring you are protected against potential health risks abroad.

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