Many people wonder what injections they need for Vietnam? The answer is a most definite, Yes! There are some injections that you definitely need and others to also consider. Our short guide will help you understand which vaccines are needed when you travel to Vietnam in order to keep you protected.
We have lived in Vietnam for nearly 12 years in total and have loved every minute of it, especially travelling outside the cities and visiting the remote mountain areas and rural villages. Vietnam is an amazing country that offers some fantastic travel experiences.
We recommend that before you travel to Vietnam, you make an appointment to see your family doctor to talk about what they recommend for your trip.
Vaccines you should definitely get when you travel to Vietnam
It is very important to ensure that you are up to date on your routine injections including:
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
It is also recommended to add at least these two injections depending on the type of travelling you are planning to do and where you are headed:
- Hepatitis A
The reason being is that both of these diseases can be easily contracted through contaminated food or water in Vietnam. You will find in the more rural areas, hygiene especially is very different to what you are accustomed to and as such your body may never have been introduced to certain bugs and bacteria. Whats more, if you are planning on staying in home-stays in the beautiful rural areas, or eating street food often, we highly recommend that you get the Typhoid injection.
Other Vaccinations your doctor may suggest
The Japanese encephalitis vaccine is very expensive but is highly recommended if you are looking to stay in Vietnam for any longer than one to two months, or if you are planning to spend a lot of time in rural towns and cities.
It is very unusual for a traveler to get malaria when they visit Vietnam. As we mention later, by protecting yourself a with a DEET based mosquito spray, you will minimize your risk of getting bitten and your risk of getting malaria will be very low. However, if your trip to Vietnam will also include a visit to the rural areas of Cambodia, you should look into taking malaria tablets.
When travelling in Vietnam, you will see many puppies and stray dogs running around in the rural areas. They may look cute and adorable but if you get bitten by a puppy or kitten who has rabies, you will be in for a visit to the local hospital.
This has been doing its rounds around the world for some years now and unfortunately, there is no vaccine for zika. The disease is passed by mosquitos so like malaria, your best protection against zika is to avoid mosquito bites.
When is the best time time to get vaccinations?
Ideally, you should visit a travel vaccination doctor 2-3 months before you are planning to travel. Why do you need to wait so long before you may be wondering:
- Vaccines will take time to work and it is a few months before they start to protect you
- A number of vaccines will need multiple shots that are spread out over a few weeks or months.
What is the cost for Vaccinations for Vietnam?
The cost of vaccines varies a lot, depending on where you are getting them and what country you live in. You should budget $400–600 for vaccines and doctor appointments prior to your trip.
Below is a estimate based on the UK rates as at 2019 with a private doctors:
- $70-120 consultation fee with doctor
- $50–120 for each vaccine you need
Are mosquioes in Vietnam dangerous?
The best way to avoid any illnesses that are caused from mosquitos is obvious; avoid getting bitten when you arrive! Coming from the UK, we do not get many mosquitos in the UK but if you have ever travelled to the highlands of Scotland, you will think of mosquitos as annoying, yet harmless, insects.
In Vietnam, mosquitos may carry a number of awful diseases, like malaria, dengue fever, or Japanese encephalitis. You may have heard of the worldwide epidemic that’s is known as zika, this is a new disease being spread by mosquitos.
It is very important to use a strong mosquito repellent when you travel around Vietnam, especially when travelling in the Jungles or rural areas. DEET is highly recommended over a natural repellent. In Vietnam, some breeds are active only during the day and others only at night, so be prepared to protect yourself anytime of the day.
In conclusion, Vietnam is a wonderful country with many opportunities to visit some off the beaten path destinations. However, with this natural beauty and underdeveloped cities and towns, also comes the risk of illness and disease. Always make sure you do your research and do not take your injections lightly, make a visit with your local doctor and ensure you are fully informed before you leave, especially if you are travelling with a young family.
Please refer to here for further information from the NHS before you depart for Vietnam.
If you would like to find out more about living in Vietnam you can check out Vietnam’s most up-to-date blog which is written by expats who have lived here for many years.