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  • Asia - travel vaccination advice

Article

Asia - travel vaccination advice

Vaccination against various diseases is recommended when travelling to most Asian countries. The vaccines depend on the destination, type of accommodation, sanitary conditions, length of stay and the general health of the traveller.

Vaccination against various diseases is recommended when travelling to most Asian countries. The vaccines depend on the destination, type of accommodation, sanitary conditions, length of stay and the general health of the traveller.


Malaria precautions are recommended for most Asian countries. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net. In addition, antimalarial tablets are recommended when travelling to some areas in Asia. 

For information about yellow fever vaccination requirements, see WHO:

Asia is not declared polio-free.

People who are unsure if they have had the MMR vaccine or whether they have had measles, mumps or rubella (German measles) are recommended to have the vaccine.

International travel can be divided into two main groups

Table 1. International travel can be divided into two main groups

GROUP I   

Business and tourist travel to cities and tourist resorts, staying in standard tourist-class hotels with good food hygiene and adequate sanitary conditions. 

GROUP II

Long-term foreign travel or residence in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation, and / or close and prolonged contact with locals (such as work, back-packing trips, immigrants on a visit to their former homeland).  

( ): Parentheses around the abbreviation means that the proposed prevention should be considered individually depending on the trip type and local geographic and seasonal variations in disease prevalence. In addition, the traveller's health, age and previous immunisation status should be considered.

Abbreviations for travel vaccines

  • dTP-IPV: Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio vaccine
  • IPV: Poliomyelitis vaccine
  • Hep A: Hepatitis A vaccine
  • Hep B: Hepatitis B vaccine
  • J: Japanese encephalitis vaccine
  • Rab: Rabies vaccine
  • TBE: Tick-borne encephalitis vaccine
  • Typh: Typhoid vaccine
  • BCG: Tuberculosis vaccine
Table 2. Recommended vaccines
DESTINATION GROUP I  GROUP II
 Japan  dTP-IPV* dTP-IPV*
(Hep B)
(J)
(TBE)
Singapore dTP-IPV* dTP-IPV*
(Hep B)
(BCG)
(J)

Malaysia (Malaysian peninsula), Thailand

dTP-IPV*

 

 

dTP-IPV*  
(Hep A) 
(Typh) 
(Hep B) 
(BCG) 
(Rab) 
(J)

South Korea dTP-IPV* dTP-IPV*
(Hep A)
(Hep B)
(BCG)
(Rab)
(J)
Maldives dTP-IPV* dTP-IPV*
(Hep A)
Typh
Taiwan dTP-IPV*
Hep A
dTP-IPV*  
Hep A 
Tyf 
(Hep B) 
(Rab) 
(J)
Mongolia, Kazakhstan  dTP-IPV*
Hep A
dTP-IPV*
Hep A
Typh
(Hep B)
(BCG)
(Rab)
(TBE)
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan dTP-IPV*
Hep A

dTP-IPV*
Hep A
Typh
(Hep B)
(BCG)
(Rab)

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, North Korea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam

dTP-IPV*
Hep A
dTP-IPV*
Hep A
Typh
(Hep B)
(BCG)
(Rab)
(J)
Malaysia (Borneo Islands), Myanmar, Philippines

dTP-IPV*
Hep A

dTP-IPV*
Hep A 
Typh 
(Hep B) 
(BCG) 
(Rab) 
(J)

Russia (Asian part) dTP-IPV*
Hep A
dTP-IPV*
Hep A
Typh
(Hep B)
(BCG)
(Rab)
(J)
(TBE)
China 

dTP-IPV* 
IPV**
Hep A

dTP-IPV*
IPV**
Hep A
Typh
(Hep B)
(BCG)
(Rab)
(J)
(TBE)

Afghanistan, Pakistan

 

dTP-IPV*
IPV**
Hep A
Typh
dTP-IPV*
IPV**
Hep A
Typh
(Hep B)
(BCG)
(Rab)

*) Everybody should be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and poliomyelitis. Adults who have had the basic vaccinations should have a booster dose against these diseases every 10 years. 

 **) Polio vaccination for stays in countries with polio outbreaks

WHO requires that people who have stayed for over 4 weeks in countries with a high risk of exporting wild poliovirus (Afghanistan and Pakistan) or vaccine-derived poliovirus type 3 (China) should have the polio vaccine between 4 weeks and 12 months before leaving the country. This must be documented with an international vaccine certificate. This applies for people of all ages, including children, who are considered to be fully vaccinated according to the Childhood Immunisation Programme.

Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan have a prevalence of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2. The WHO encourages people who have spent more than 4 weeks in countries at risk of exporting vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 to receive a polio vaccine between 4 weeks and 12 months before leaving the country.

Note that Myanmar, the Philippines and Malaysia are considered by the WHO to be countries that are exposed to new introduction of poliovirus. It is therefore also important that travellers to these countries are protected against poliomyelitis.

Source for travel vaccination advice given by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health 

History

22.10.2021: Updated advice according to WHO report from August 2021