A question that is asked by every single traveler about to embark on their Asian adventure. Whether you are one of those well-organised, planning types – or you’ve been told by your GP to go and find out for them, below is the information you will need.

You should arrange these vaccinations with your GP or travel clinic 4-6 weeks before you go.

All travellers should be up to date with their routine in their home country. For the UK, this means the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine as well as the diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP) vaccine.

Recommended vaccinations

Please check with the medical advice given by your home government. This information below is taken and updated from the UK home office.

Recommended –

  • Hepatitis A
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid

Optional  –

  • Malaria
  • Cholera
  • Hepatitis B
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • TB

** Recommended for all travellers to Thailand **

What is hepatitis A?

A viral infection, spread through food and water, or by contact with an infected hepatitis A patient. It is highly contagious, causing inflammation of the liver.

Often mild symptoms, but can be more serious in later life; fever, jaundice, malaise, nausea, loss of appetite. Recovery takes weeks or months.

How do you prevent it?

High risk populations include:

  • those who are staying with or visiting the local population
  • frequent and/or long-stay travellers to areas where sanitation and food hygiene are likely to be poor
  • those with existing medical conditions such as liver disease or haemophilia
  • men who have sex with men
  • people who inject drugs
  • those who may be exposed to the virus through their work
  • those going to areas of hepatitis A outbreaks who have limited access to safe water and medical care

When do you need the hepatitis A vaccination?

You should start your hepatitis A vaccine course at least 4 weeks before you leave, although it is possible to get urgent vaccinations just before. The hepatitis A vaccine can be given as a combined injection with the hepatitis B vaccine in some cases.

How much does the hepatitis A vaccination cost?

The hepatitis A vaccination is usually free on the NHS, obtainable through your GP. There will often be a charge, however, if you attend a private travel to obtain your vaccinations.

** Recommended for all travellers to Thailand **

What is tetanus?

Tetanus is caused from the toxin of a bacteria, with spores found commonly around the world. If a spore manages to enter your body through a cut or graze, the bacteria produces a toxin which attacks your brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include fever, tachycardia, painful muscle spasms, lock-jaw and sweating. It can be fatal (in the UK, 1 in 8 die who develop the infection).

How do you prevent it?

A very effective and simple vaccination! The tetanus vaccination is part of most country’s childhood vaccination schedule.

When do you need the tetanus vaccination?

The vast majority of travellers will be up to date with their tetanus vaccination. If you need a booster, you can get one on it’s own, or tie it in with the diphtheria-tetanus-polio (DTP) vaccination. In the UK, your last scheduled vaccination was at 14 years old. If you have not had a booster in the last 10 years, it is worth arranging one. There is no required time to get this booster – it can be done at any time before you leave.

How much does the tetanus vaccination cost?

The tetanus vaccination is usually free on the NHS, obtainable through your GP. There will often be a charge, however, if you attend a private travel clinic to obtain your vaccinations.

** Recommended for all travellers to Thailand **

What is typhoid?

Typhoid fever (or enteric fever) is an infection caused by bacteria found in contaminated food and water. The majority of cases worldwide are found in Asia. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle or joint pains, constipation or diarrhoea and a rash. Complications include intestinal bleeding and perforation (a hole in the intestinal wall).

How do you prevent it?

Good hygiene and sanitation reduced the risk. It can be impossible to know how ‘safe’ local food and water is however, so the vaccination is strongly recommended for all visitors to Thailand. Ensure all water comes from sealed bottles, or recently boiled. Avoid ice in your drink.

When do you need the typhoid vaccination?

The typhoid vaccination is given in one single dose. It should be given 1 month before you travel, but can be given nearer your travel date.

 How much does the typhoid vaccination cost?

The typhoid vaccination is usually free on the NHS, obtainable through your GP. There will often be a charge, however, if you attend a private travel clinic to obtain your vaccinations.

** Recommended for some travellers to Thailand **

What is cholera?

Cholera is a bacterial infection that can be fatal. It is transmitted through contaminated food and water. Symptoms include severe watery diarrhoea, painful stomach cramps and vomiting. Without immediate treatment, dehydration sets in and you could go into shock.

How do you prevent it?

Good hygiene and sanitation reduced the risk. It is particularly contagious if the stools of an infected person reach a water supply – through overcrowding or a communal water supply. The vaccination is strongly recommended for certain groups of people – aid workers, visiting sites of current or previous cholera infections, and when you may be in remote locations without access to safe supplies of water. If you are unable to find bottled water, only drink water that has recently been bottled.

Speak to your GP or a nurse about whether you need the vaccination.

When do you need the cholera vaccination?

The cholera vaccination is given in the form of a liquid drink. Several doses should be taken approximately 4 weeks apart.

How much does the cholera vaccination cost?

The cholera vaccination is usually free on the NHS, obtainable through your GP. There will often be a charge, however, if you attend a private travel clinic to obtain your vaccinations.

** Recommended for some travellers to Thailand **

** Recommended for some travellers to Thailand **

** Recommended for some travellers to Thailand **

** Recommended for some travellers to Thailand **

Other risks

Certification requirements

The only proof of vaccination you require when entering Thailand is if you have come from a country with an ‘at risk of yellow fever’ status. That means you’ve either travelled in the country, you live in the country, or even if you’ve spent more than 12 hours transiting through the country – this includes airport layovers!

Which countries have a risk of yellow fever?

Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkino Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Cote d’Ivorie, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Gunea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Venezuela