Travel Vaccines and recommended vaccinations for travelling to Thailand

Vaccines for Travelers

Travel Vaccines for traveling to other countries, health authorities advise all travelers to always make sure that they are vaccinated before the trip. As we all know Thailand is well known for its tropical climate, rich cultural heritage, delectable cuisine, and stunning beaches, and is a top-choice destination for travelers worldwide.

However, before you plan on your journey to this captivating country, it’s crucial to prioritize safe travel by obtaining the recommended vaccinations to ensure you’re adequately protected against potential health risks. 

In this article, we’ll explore the essential travel vaccines and routine vaccinations for Thailand, offering valuable insights and recommendations to help you travel safely and worry-free.

Travel Vaccines & Recommended Vaccinations for Travel in Thailand

1. COVID-19

How Disease Spreads: Respiratory droplets & Direct Contact
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, global travel safety has taken center stage. Regardless of your destination, including Thailand, COVID-19 vaccination is highly recommended as travel vaccines. Check with your local Passport Health clinic to ensure you’re up to date with the latest vaccination requirements.

2. Hepatitis A

How Disease Spreads: Food & Water
Hepatitis A is a viral infection that can be contracted through contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person. It’s advisable for most travelers to get vaccinated against hepatitis A before visiting Thailand.

3. Hepatitis B

How Disease Spreads: Blood & Body Fluids
Hepatitis B is a severe liver infection attributed to the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Transmission occurs when the virus-infected person’s blood, saliva, semen, or other bodily fluids enter the body of an uninfected individual. If you’re planning a trip to Thailand and want thorough protection against hepatitis B, it’s advisable to consider an expedited vaccination schedule.

4. Typhoid

How Disease Spreads: Food & Water
Typhoid fever is a serious illness that can be contracted through contaminated food and water sources. The typhoid shot provides two years of protection, while an oral vaccine option lasts five years. Ensure you can swallow pills if opting for the oral travel vaccines.

5. Rabies

How Disease Spreads: Saliva of Infected Animals
Thailand is considered a high-risk country for rabies. It is a deadly disease that is caused by a bite or a scratch from an animal. For some travelers, especially those who come in contact with a lot of animals. It is recommended to be vaccinated against rabies.

6. Japanese Encephalitis

How Disease Spreads: Mosquito
Some travelers who are staying in Thailand for too long or planning to travel around the country need to be vaccinated. As you know this Japanese encephalitis vaccination is considered based on your travel itinerary and activities.

It’s especially recommended for extended travel, recurrent travelers, and visits to rural areas, particularly in northern Thailand.

7. Yellow Fever Travel Vaccines

How Disease Spreads: Mosquito
People who are traveling from countries with a risk of yellow fever contamination are required to be vaccinated. It is not an issue in Thailand.

However, proof or the certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required by the government of Thailand for all travelers coming from other countries with a risk of contamination.

By the way, if you are planning to travel to South America and Africa, you are required to take a yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days before your departure.

8. Cholera

How Disease Spreads: Food & Water
The cholera disease can be caused from unsafe food or water. This can happen when the disease spreads from person to person through drinking water or water used to grow or prepare food. However, the CDC does not recommend vaccination due to the absence of active cholera transmission.

Routine Vaccinations for Thailand

1. Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

How Disease Spreads: Various Vectors
The transmission of measles, mumps, and rubella viruses is primarily through inhalation of infected respiratory droplets or contact with infected saliva or contaminated surfaces between people. The protection against all three diseases is provided by a combination vaccine.

If you were born after 1957 and are unvaccinated, it’s essential to receive the MMR vaccine. An adult booster may also be recommended.

2. DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis)

How Disease Spreads: Wounds & Airborne
The DTP Vaccine: By coughing or sneezing, diphtheria and whooping cough are transmitted between individuals.Tetanus does not transmit from person to person; instead, it enters the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds. Babies need 3 shots of this vaccine to build up enough levels of protection.

Then, at young age, 2 more booster shots will be required. For adults, a booster dose is required every 10 years.

Travel Vaccines

3. Chickenpox

How Disease Spreads: Direct Contact & Airborne
Chickenpox is an extremely contagious illness triggered by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It causes an itchy, blister-like rash. Initially, the rash manifests on the chest, back, and face before extending to cover the entire body.

Unvaccinated individuals  such as children under age 13 should get two doses: first at the age 12 through 15 months & second at age 4 through 6 years. People who are older than 13 years, haven’t had chickenpox should consider getting two doses at least 28 days apart. 

4. Shingles

How Disease Spreads: Direct Contact
Shingles, an agonizing rash stemming from the varicella-zoster virus. It can occur anywhere on your body, and it often appears as a single line of blisters encircling either the left or right side of the torso, and it is linked to the same virus responsible for chickenpox.

People who should receive this vaccine include: Individuals aged 50 and above. Adults aged 19 and older who either currently have weakened immune systems due to illness or treatment, or are expected to develop such conditions. You can still receive the shingles vaccine even if you’ve had shingles in the past.

5. Pneumococcal Disease

How Disease Spreads: Airborne and Droplets
This is a disease caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, which may be present in a child’s nose or throat, and can be transmitted through airborne droplets expelled during coughing or sneezing.

Pneumonia is a condition in which your immune system fights an infection in your lungs, causing your lungs to release fluids and swell up. Pneumonia should be treated with appropriate antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. 

6. Influenza

How Disease Spreads: Airborne and Droplets
Individuals with the flu have the potential to transmit it to others, and according to most experts, the primary mode of flu virus transmission occurs through droplets produced when infected individuals cough, sneeze, or talk.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people in close proximity or, in some cases, be breathed into the lungs. To prevent yourself from getting serious flu infection, you should be vaccinated. The components of the influenza vaccine change annually, so staying up to date is crucial.

7. Polio

How Disease Spreads: Food & Water
Polio, also known as poliomyelitis, is a debilitating and potentially fatal illness caused by the poliovirus. This virus is transmitted through person-to-person contact and can invade the spinal cord, leading to paralysis in affected body parts. While there is no cure for polio, it can be prevented effectively through safe vaccination.

The CDC advises children to receive four doses of the polio vaccine, administered at the following stages: at 2 months of age, at 4 months of age, between 6 and 18 months of age, and between 4 and 6 years of age.

For most travel itineraries, polio vaccination is considered routine. A single adult booster is recommended.

Additional Precautions and Tips

  • Japanese Encephalitis: Mandatory for those in rural areas or planning hiking and camping trips.
  • Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Thailand is home to various mosquito-borne diseases, including malaria. Consider antimalarials for certain regions.
  • Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya: While there are no vaccines for these diseases, protect yourself by using mosquito repellents, bed nets, and appropriate clothing.
  • Healthcare: Urban areas offer adequate medical facilities, but English-speaking healthcare providers may be limited in rural areas.

Conclusion

Thailand promises an unforgettable travel experience, but safeguarding your health through proper travel vaccines & recommended vaccinations is paramount. Prioritize your well-being by consulting with a healthcare professional or experts, like Passport Health, to ensure you’re up to date on all recommended travel vaccines.

With proper precautions, you can explore the wonders of Thailand with peace of mind, knowing you’re protected against potential health risks. Travel safely and enjoy your adventure in the Land of Smiles!

We, at WellMed Bangkok Clinic, are committed to providing you with informative articles that emphasize the significance of the healthcare industry. We believe in sharing essential information and knowledge to help you stay informed and make informed decisions in the current era.