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What Vaccines do I need for Thailand?

Thailand is a great travel destination, but it pays to take a few sensible precautions to ensure your trip is trouble free, and also to ensure you don’t bring home a vile disease to your loved ones.

The following is a rough guide only. No website can tell you exactly what you need, as recommendations often change and depend on your health status and what you do in the country. You need to consult a doctor with expertise in travel medicine who can review your individual health issues. Don’t forget to ask for numbing cream if you are worried about pain from the injection.

All routine childhood vaccines need to be up to date; this includes:

  • Polio – in childhood
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria/Whooping Cough – within last 5-10 years
  • Measles Mumps Rubella Chickenpox – two doses of vaccine or the actual disease
  • Hepatitis B – complete course
  • Meningococcal – if relevant for age
  • All travellers should seriously consider having influenza vaccine.
  • Shingles and Pneumonia vaccines are recommended for travellers over 65 years of age.

Extra things for Thailand

  • You are strongly recommended to have Hepatitis A vaccine, even if ?you only visit resorts and 5 star hotels. ?
  • You may also need Typhoid vaccination especially if you wish to eat food from places where the sanitation is poor especially from markets or street stalls. ( There is a combined Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccine that is often given )
  • You need to consider how you will manage the risk of Rabies ( In some studies, 1% of travellers to Thailand had a potential rabies exposure) Rabies pre exposure vaccination may be recommended for some travellers.
  • Malaria prevention tablets may be recommended for persons travelling to areas remote from the usual tourist areas. You will not usually need malaria pills for areas such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket or Koh Samui. Mosquito avoidance must be practiced diligently as there are other diseases such as Dengue that are reasonably common and very unpleasant.
  • Carry an appropriate medical kit with treatment for possible problems such as gastro, pain, wounds, coughs and colds etc.

Ideally you should organise all this about 4-6 weeks before departure, but it is never too late.

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