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What Vaccines Do I Need For Thailand?

Whenever I’m going to Thailand, I love to eat the local food, go to places where the locals spend their time, etc. The last thing I want is to get sick because I’ll do something I’m not used to. So in this article, I will go in-depth on what vaccines you’ll need before going to Thailand.

So, what vaccines Do I need for Thailand? According to the CDC, most travelers will need to be vaccinated for DTP, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid. DTP is a mix which stands for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and pertussis. Malaria is only recommended if you’re going to visit certain forest areas in Thailand near the borders of Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.

what vaccines do i need for thailand

What vaccines you’ll need to get before you will travel to Thailand will obviously depend on the country you’re originated from.

And although DTP, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid are just the most recommended ones, you might want to get some others like Hepatitis B and in most cases, you won’t need to be vaccinated for Malaria.

In this article, I will further explain everything about them so you’ll know exactly which ones you’ll need.

What Are DTP, Hepatitis A, And Typhoid?

Now that you know what the most common vaccines for Thailand are, you might want to know what exactly they’re for. So let me explain.

What is DTP:

DTP is a mix of diseases which stand for Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis.

Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae and causes your throat to swell up, which makes you hard to breathe. It can also cause heart failure, paralysis and eventually even lead up to death.

Tetanus is an infection that can cause your brain and nervous system to fail.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection that usually is caused by eating or drinking something that’s been exposed to someone’s poop that also has the Hepatitis A virus.

The Hepatitis A virus is not death threatening and can last from a couple of weeks to even a couple of months.

What is Typhoid:

Typhoid is commonly known as Typhoid fever and is usually caused by food and drinks that contain the Salmonella bacteria. It can make you feel very sick and is a highly contagious disease.

I’m not a doctor, nor do I want to bore you with too many medical terms. I just want you to know it’s really worth to get your vaccines for Thailand before you go.

But not all of these vaccines apply for every country.

If you don’t already know, I live in the Netherlands and here in the Netherlands, we’re only recommended to get the DTP and Hepatitis A vaccine and in some cases Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B is for you if you’re going to have sexual contact during your stay and/or if you’re going to come in contact with needles or blood.

This means if you’re planning on getting a tattoo or go for medical treatment, you’re doing yourself a favor by getting the vaccine for Hepatitis B

For you, the best way to know what vaccines to get is to ask your local doctor or medical hospital, for what kind of vaccines are recommended to your country.

What Other Vaccines Do You Might Need For Traveling To Thailand

Besides DTP, Hepatitis A and Typhoid, there is a numerous of other vaccines that might be smart to get. But this entirely depends on your personal situation.

I’m no doctor, but I just want you to be as well prepared for your trip to Thailand as possible.

The last thing you want is to lay in bed all of your holiday.

I took the time for you to list most of them down below and I will also provide you with a link to the CDC, which is where most of my research is based upon.

Hepatitis B:

Like I’ve mentioned above, Hepatitis B is a disease that you can get through body fluids like semen and blood.

The symptoms for this are for example fever, stomach pain, loss of appetite and more.

So if you’re planning on having sex with strangers, go to Thailand to get a tattoo, or get a medical treatment, it’s highly recommended to get vaccinated for Hepatitis B as well.

You can find more specific information on Hepatitis B by clicking here.

Japanese Encephalitis:

You can get Japanese Encephalitis through Mosquito bites. This is a disease that you won’t notice at first. It can take between 5 and 15 days to show it’s symptoms.

These mosquitoes appear mostly in rural areas. So if you’re planning a hiking trip through some of the jungles in Thailand, you better be safe than sorry.

The symptoms of the Japanese Encephalitis infection are equivalent to Malaria and include difficulty moving, fever, headache, vomitting and can get you into a coma.

Be aware that an infection of this can eventually cause death.

More info on the Japanese Encephalitis can be found here

Malaria:

Malaria is a dangerous disease caused by mosquitoes who carry this virus with them. In Thailand they occur mostly in the North mountain areas.

On average, each year, there are about 1700 cases of Malaria infections and includes 5 death among travelers from the US alone.

The symptoms of Malaria usually start after the first week and can develop during the year following.

Symptoms of Malaria are the fever, the flu and hot- and cold shivering.

When I went to the medical clinic here in the Netherlands and asked about the risk of Malaria and if I needed to be vaccinated for this, they told usually the treatment itself, can cause worse side effects than the disease itself.

If you wonder whether you’ll need to be vaccinated for Malaria, make sure to ask your local doctor or hospital. They can go more into the specifics.

So it totally depends on where you’re planning to go in Thailand.

Whenever I go to visit my wife in Thailand, I always bring a spray can with me with a high percentage of DEET.

It usually smells like lemon and I never had trouble with any mosquitoes whatsoever.

If you are infected with Malaria, please make sure to go visit your doctor as soon as possible. It can be a long lasting disease.

Click here to find out more about Malaria…

Rabies:

If you’ve visited Thailand before, you already know that Thailand has a large number of stray dogs and cats.

Unlike some other countries, in Thailand, pets usually live outside and a lot of them are not taken care of.

Even near the beaches you will find a large number of them wandering around. The last thing you want is to pet some cute dog, only to get bitten afterwards and get rabies.

Personally, I’ve never got any vaccines against Rabies and this is not mandatory.

But please be aware that it can happen. If you’re just being careful and not pet every animal that you encounter, you should be fine.

In Thailand, besides dogs and cats, you will also find bats and monkeys. These can carry rabies too.

In case you are bitten by either of them, just go visit a nearby hospital and get a rabies shot. The hospitals in Thailand are very modern and very cheap compared to Western standards.

Yellow Fever:

The chances that you need a vaccine for Yellow Fever is very low. You would only need this if you arriving from a specific country which has areas where this occurs.

In Thailand itself, Yellow Fever doesn’t exists.

In most Western countries for example, Yellow Fever doesn’t exists.

If you wonder if you would need the Yellow Fever vaccine, you can click here to see a full list of countries where Yellow fever occurs.

If you’re arriving from any of those countries, the Thai immigration wants you to show your vaccination documents to proof that you’ve been vaccinated for it.

How Far In Advance should You get your vaccines for Thailand?

As soon as you know when you’re going to Thailand, you need to start planning to get your vaccines.

Vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Typhoid, DTP need to be admitted at least 2 weeks before your trip to Thailand.

For Hepatitis B, the recommended time is more than 6 months. This is because this vaccine is given in at least 2 times.

If you’re getting the first vaccination at least 6 months before your trip, there will be enough time to finish the complete treatment. For more information on this, it’s best to contact your doctor.

When it comes to the Malaria treatment, there are numerous options. Because this vaccine comes in multiple forms. Usually it’s pills.

Depending on the specific pills, the treatment can begin 3 days before travel and can be continued during your stay and after you come back.

Depending on the country you’re living in, different kinds of medicine are provided.

Also, some of these options are not for pregnant women.

So contact your doctor or local medical clinic to ask what your options are.

Can You Travel To Thailand Without Getting Vaccinations?

As I’ve mentioned in this article, some vaccines aren’t really necessary.

It also depends on the country you’re living in. I’ve noticed that in the US, most people are already getting the Hepatitis A vaccine admitted while growing up.

Personally, I’ve only had the vaccine for DTP and Hepatitis A, but I live in the Netherlands and that is what was recommended here at the local medical clinic.

Diseases like Rabies are usually easy avoidable by just being careful.

I’ve been in Thailand a lot of times now and plan on moving there in the near future and I’ve never been bitten by a mosquito. And all I did was using a good spray which contains a high percentage of Deet.

My wife and I always eat street food because it’s just the best out there and I only got some stomach trouble once.

Just be careful and not drink the tap water and use bottled water and when you go eat street food, go to the shops where there are lots of customers. That is always a good sign.

To learn more about these vaccines and see where I’ve found most of my information, you can check this page of the CDC.

Related Questions:

Do babies need vaccinations for Thailand?
Babies are already vaccinated for the most common diseases. In Thailand, DTP is a recommended one. In most countries, babies already had a vaccine for this and thus don’t need other ones. You will need to ask your doctor to be sure.

How likely is it to get Typhoid in Thailand?
Chances are small to become infected with Typhoid if you are aware of what you eat and drink. Avoid tap water and when you order food, make sure it’s cooked well. This will kill any form of bacteria and makes it safe to consume.

Does Thailand Have The Zika Virus?
Yes, Thailand still has the Zika virus, although the number of infections are declining over the last few years. If you’re planning to come to Thailand, make sure to use a good anti-mosquito spray and if you’re pregnant, postpone your holiday until after you gave birth.

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