Travel To Vietnam – Vaccines Needed

Before embarking on a journey to any country, you need to research and find out what requirements are set out by their government. Travelers who are looking to be swept off their feet by the gorgeous Vietnam landscapes, the jungles, caves, new foods, flavors, and rich culture, need to ensure they keep themselves healthy. If possible consult your healthcare professional some 8 weeks before the travel date. The consultation will allow the practitioner to test for diseases that cannot be prevented by vaccinations. They will also offer advice on food, water, sun exposure, accident prevention, animal bites and insect bites.

Do you need vaccination before traveling to Vietnam?

When traveling to Vietnam, the CDC and WHO recommend taking the following vaccinations:

  • Typhoid – spreads through contaminated food and water
  • Hepatitis A –contaminated water and food helps spread the disease
  • Japanese encephalitis- spread by mosquitoes.
  • Hepatitis B – body fluids and blood spread this disease.
  • Rabies -spreads through infected animal saliva
  • Meningitis -the disease is airborne and spreads through direct contact,
  • Polio spreads through contaminated water and food

Other diseases recommended for routine vaccinations before traveling to Vietnam include:

  • Measles – spread through contact with an infected person
  • Mumps and rubella (MMR) – spreads through contact with an infected person
  • Influenza- the virus is airborne
  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)- Airborne and spreads through wounds
  • Chickenpox – the disease is airborne and spreads through direct contact
  • Shingles – you can get it from direct contact with a person infected with the disease
  • Pneumonia disease- is airborne and spreads through direct contact with a person infected with the disease

How else can you protect your health during a trip to Vietnam

Being vaccinated is the first step towards protecting yourself. However, it would be best if you took several measures to protect yourself from infections that are not vaccine preventable.

  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. Antimalarials are necessary when visiting the rural parts of Vietnam.
  • Protect yourself from Traveler’s diarrhea. To protect yourself, carry a diarrhea kit that contains medicine including DiaResQ
  • Protect yourself from Dengue fever. Mosquitos spread this disease. You can protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved shirts, boots, hats, and long pants. When sleeping, use a bed net, especially if camping.
  • Protect yourself from the Zika Virus. In early 2016, Vietnam was among the countries where the virus was reported. Consult your doctor on how to take precautions.
  • Be careful about germs. Ensure you wash your hands using soap and water before meals, after meals, after visiting the toilet, etc. Pack a hand sanitizer with a 60% concentration of alcohol for when you have no access to water and soap.
  • Drink only clean water to prevent diseases like cholera. The food you eat must be clean too.
  • Wash your vegetables and fruits before consuming.
  • Don’t eat food that smells bad. If you think it’s bad, then you probably shouldn’t eat it.
  • Avoid wandering animals.
  • When on the move, make sure you pack disinfectant, plaster, and bandages for scrapes and minor cuts.
  • Pack an insect repellant and sunscreen.

Consult the Embassy before traveling in case you need to carry medication. This includes any over the counter medication. It’s also advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.

The medical facilities in Vietnam also offer good standard care, and in case of emergencies, you will be safe.  You will not have a problem finding clinics, hospitals and even foreign doctors in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.