Frequently asked questions

Below are frequently asked questions we receive about travelling and vaccinations. Do you have any other questions? Please contact us or visit one of our Travel Clinics.

Can I become ill from a vaccination?

If you are healthy, you will generally not experience any discomfort or side effects from the vaccinations. However, some people react more strongly to vaccinations than others. You may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • A slight temperature
  • Painful sensation in the arm

If you do experience side effects, they will generally be mild and often pass within two days.

Is it wise to have all vaccinations at the same time?

Sometimes it is prudent to leave an interval between various vaccinations, especially in the case of long journeys or certain destinations. We recommend you to inquire 4 to 6 weeks prior to departure about the order and schedule of vaccinations you should follow.

Can I drink alcohol after vaccination?

In principle, this shouldn’t be a problem: alcohol and vaccinations generally tolerate each other well. However, any complaints and side effects that may occur after vaccination may be magnified by alcohol.

Can vaccinations also be given in the form of pills?

No, this is not yet possible. Read more about vaccinations.

Can I have vaccinations if I am pregnant?

Are you pregnant and do you need vaccinations? Consult with a doctor or nurse to decide what is best. This also applies to malaria medication. Whether you can have vaccinations when you are pregnant depends on the type of vaccination. Travelling to a tropical or sub-tropical country always involves an increased medical risk. Consider whether this journey is necessary or whether you would like to postpone your trip. Read more about pregnancy.

Do vaccinations influence the effect of the contraceptive pill?

No, contraceptives and vaccination go together without any problems.

Can I have vaccinations if I want to become pregnant?

Are you pregnant or do you intend to become pregnant in the near future, and are you planning a trip? Travelling during pregnancy does not have to be a problem. Prepare well for your journey and adjust your travel plans where necessary. Do you need vaccinations? Consult with a doctor or nurse to decide what is best. This also applies to malaria medication. Read more about pregnancy.

From what age can children be vaccinated?

In the Netherlands, infants are vaccinated against various diseases at an infant welfare centre. Travelling abroad may sometimes require additional measures. Children travelling abroad often receive the same vaccinations as adults. However, dosing and vaccination schedules may differ. For some vaccines, a minimum age applies. Vaccination against hepatitis A can be given from the age of 1 year, yellow fever from the age of 9 months and typhoid fever from the age of 2 years.

Can I work and/or do sports after a vaccination?

In general, this is no problem at all. You may experience a sore arm or slight dizziness after a vaccination, but during sports or at work you will hardly experience any discomfort from your vaccination.

What is the difference between obligatory and recommended vaccinations?

An obligatory vaccination has been assigned obligatory by a country. The country sets this requirement, which is intended to protect citizens against the import of communicable diseases. You are not allowed to enter a country without this obligatory vaccination. In some countries, for example, yellow fever vaccination is obligatory. A recommended vaccination is a vaccination for a certain destination as recommended by the National Coordination Centre for Travel Advice (LCR). The LCR is an independent foundation that establishes guidelines in the Netherlands on which vaccinations you need for a healthy stay at your destination. Its advice is therefore more than just an advice.

Does it matter that I use medication when I have vaccinations?

Yes, some medicines interfere with vaccinations. If you take medication, please contact a Travel Clinic in good time. The nurse will tell you which vaccinations you need and whether you need to visit special consultation hours. We can then advise you about the possible consequences of the vaccinations in combination with your medication.

What are the side effects of vaccination?

In most cases you will experience little discomfort after vaccination. Side effects may include: a stiff, painful muscle, a slight fever, or redness around the injection site. Side effects are generally mild and will usually disappear within two days.

Is last-minute vaccination useful?

Vaccination is always useful. Most vaccines take effect quickly. Every day, and often at night as well, one of our Travel Clinics is open. You can just drop in or make an appointment.

How long before my journey do I have to be vaccinated?

Some vaccinations only give effective protection if you receive them at a certain time before your journey. The time depends on the type of vaccination, your age, which vaccinations you already received, what journey you are making and how long you will be away. We recommend that you get the required vaccinations approximately four to six weeks before departure. Are you travelling for more than 3 months, or are you emigrating? Contact us as soon as possible. Read more. Even when you are travelling last minute, vaccination is still useful!

How long does vaccination protect?

This depends on the vaccinations you receive; some provide protection for a period of 3 years, others for 25 years or your entire life. In general the following vaccination periods apply:

  • Yellow fever: ten years, starting ten days after the first vaccination. In some countries, vaccination against yellow fever is obligatory for all people entering the country.
  • Typhus: three years
  • DTP: ten years
  • Hepatitis A: twenty-five years, possibly longer. The immunisation consists of two vaccinations. After the first shot you are protected for one year, after the second you are protected for twenty-five years or more. You should get the second vaccination one year after the first.

Always contact the Travel Clinic for sound travel advice.

Do I need an appointment to be vaccinated at the Travel Clinic?

It is preferable to make an appointment online or by phone with one of our Travel Clinics. This enables us to prepare for your visit and avoids unnecessary waiting. You can also drop by at the last minute, but keep in mind that you may have to wait then.

Can I visit the Travel Clinic outside office hours?

Yes, you can. Our Travel Clinics have extended opening hours: At Schiphol-East, Amsterdam Centre, and in The Hague we are open outside office hours on Saturdays, and on Wednesday and Thursday night until 8:30PM. Schiphol Centre (in Departures) is, outside office hours, also open on Sundays. Click here for an up-to-date overview of the opening hours of each clinic.

What do vaccinations and/or malaria pills cost?

Please see the up-to-date overview for the vaccination rates.

Is it really necessary to take malaria pills?

The need to take malaria pills depends on the destination and the duration of your stay. This will be discussed during your visit to our Travel Clinic.