Things to remember before traveling to Southeast Asia

Getting vaccinations for Southeast Asia is something you should do at least a month, perhaps even several months before setting off on your travels as it will take time for the vaccine to kick in and for your body to be fully protected.

Visit a Travel Medical Clinic

Disclaimer: It’s very important to visit a travel medical clinic in your home country before you fly to Southeast Asia. Below, you will find some guidelines for the essential and recommended vaccinations for Southeast Asia. We strongly advise you to consult with a health professional before travelling.

Nobody should travel to Asia without the following essential vaccines:

  • Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a very infectious disease which affects more than 400,000 people in Southeast Asia. The virus is spread through contaminated food and water and is, therefore, more prevalent in countries with low levels of sanitation and hygiene.

The Hepatitis A vaccine is highly recommended for travellers to Southeast Asia and is given as a single injection, with a booster (optional) 6-12 months, after the initial injection, that will then protect you for at least 20 years.

How long before you travel should you have the Hepatitis A Jab?

Ideally, you should have the Hepatitis A vaccination at least 2 weeks before you set off on your travels. However, if you forget, you should still get it done regardless of how many days it is until your departure, even if it’s the day before!

  • Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a serious viral infection of the liver. 250+ million people all over the world are estimated to be living with the virus. It is transmitted via bodily fluids, exposure to infected blood, unclean needle usage, unprotected sex and from mother to baby. If you get a tattoo or piercing whilst abroad, need stitches in a local hospital or get a new sexual partner, you could be at risk.

You will need three injections of the Hepatitis B vaccine over a period of six months. Once this schedule is complete, you will be inoculated for life. The vaccine has an excellent record of effectiveness.

How long before you travel should you have the Hepatitis B Jab?
It is recommended that the vaccine course runs over six months, therefore six months before you travel would be ideal. However, if you are going to set off on your travels much sooner than that, don’t panic, the course can be shortened to as little as 3 weeks.

  • Typhoid

Typhoid is a serious bacterial infection that is caused by the bacteria known as Salmonella typhi. It can lead to high fever, vomiting, diarrhea and even death. It is passed on through contaminated food and water and is, therefore, more common in places with poor hygiene and where handwashing is not the norm.

Globally around 20 million people each year are affected by typhoid or typhoid fever as it is sometimes called. If treated early on, antibiotics are usually successful in eradicating typhoid. However, if left untreated it can be fatal.

It is recommended for travellers to Southeast Asia to be vaccinated against typhoid, particularly those who are doing homestays, workaways or are staying in places with low levels of sanitation.

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