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10 June 2019

Do we need vaccines for Thailand?

There are few destinations in the world that offer as much diversity as Thailand. Enjoy heavenly beaches, lush mountains, bustling cities, great food, incredible markets, ancient and modern temples, and a nightlife like no other! On top of that, it is an excellent destination for travelers of all economic levels, whether adventurers or tourists more accustomed to luxury travel.

Nevertheless, if you plan on travelling to Thailand, you must take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of health problems. For this reason, let's talk about vaccines to take before traveling to this Asian country.

Also check out our articles on Cuba's immunization needs and the vaccines needed to travel to Mexico.

For more information, consult a professional Travel Health of Travel Health Assist's Member


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Aliments santé thailande

Vaccine against yellow fever

It is commonly thought that this country has problems with this disease. In truth, the obligation of the vaccine is related to the need to prevent the introduction of yellow fever in the country.

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever may be required upon entry only if you arrive from an epidemic destination of yellow fever

Vaccine against typhoid fever

Although there is no longer a mandatory vaccine to enter Thailand, the typhoid vaccine is recommended. This is especially true if you plan to travel off the beaten path or if you want to travel for a long time.

In addition, the typhoid fever vaccine is recommended if you plan to visit small towns, rural areas or villages, especially if you are subject to the same living conditions as locals.

The vaccine is recommended for the following travellers:


  • Immunosuppressed travellers 
  • People travelling to visit family members or friends.
  • Travellers living off the usual tourist routes and in poor sanitary conditions.
  • Travellers subject to enteric infections as a result of gastric defense mechanisms diminished by an achlorhydria, a gastrectomy, a vagotomy or an ongoing therapy with proton pump inhibitors. (IPP)
  • Travellers taking a long trip abroad.
  • Travellers who do not have access to fresh water and who will be in close contact with an indigent population without medical resources. 

But if you plan to stay in Thailand for less than 15 days and you do not leave the usual tourist circuits, this vaccine is not recommended for this kind of trip

Nevertheless, you must be careful with water and food. Indeed, this disease is associated with poor hygiene conditions during the preparation and handling of food and the lack of control of the quality of water intended for human consumption and wastewater.

Traveler's diarrhea

Traveler's diarrhea is one of the most common diseases among travelers. It is spread through contact with other people or through the consumption of contaminated food or water. Traveler's diarrhea is caused by a number of bacteria (including E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter), parasites (Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora and others) and viruses (such as norovirus and rotavirus).

You can protect yourself with Dukoral vaccine, probiotics, uncontaminated food, etc.

Japanese encephalitis

The virus that causes Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes. Mosquito vectors only bite in the evening (at dusk) and overnight. The bite is painful and does not go unnoticed. In late summer and early fall, this disease is prevalent in much of East Asia, from India to Korea and Japan.

The rest of the year, it is observed sporadically in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Thailand in particular.

The vaccine is recommended for people who plan to stay longer than 4 weeks in an area where it is endemic;

Immunization is the knowledge of endemic areas that can be very geographically limited.

Other recommended vaccines

In addition to these vaccines, it is recommended that you update your basic vaccines (recommended in this country) against tetanus, hepatitis A and B and inflenza vaccine. All travelers should have received these vaccines regardless of their destination.


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Vaccinations Thailande

Entering Thailand with drugs

Be careful !

Thailand's regulations subject the importation of drugs to declaration or prior authorization rules. People undergoing medical treatment should verify with the ThailEmbassy nearest to their home that medications are allowed. Rules apply depending on the quantity and nature of the drugs. Your travel health professional can provide you with contact information for Thailand's Embassy in Canada.

In some cases, importation is prohibited or restricted. In other cases, the embassy will recommend that a written prescription is in English and that products are declared spontaneously when going through customs.

Breaches of the rules could lead to different measures ranging from simple confiscation of drugs to jail time in some cases. It is therefore strongly advised, before committing a trip under medical treatment, to inquire at the nearest Thai Embassy.

Never consume drugs bought on the street (risk of counterfeiting).

Thailand: Vigilance Zone of Thai Authorities

Formally discouraged areas:

Extreme South and North-West Burma border. At the extreme south, travel is formally discouraged in the provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla, where a separatist insurgency persists.

The border area with Burma to the north-west is not recommended, except for the Mae Sai (Thailand, Chiang Rai Province) / Tachileik (Burma, Shan State) border crossing point, which is not recommended unless imperative.

Areas advised against except imperative reason

Most of the border with Burma is not recommended except for imperative reason. This recommendation includes crossing points open to foreigners, because of the risks of theft and cross-border violence and the existence of numerous trafficking. Crossing the border outside authorized crossing points is illegal and can have serious consequences.

Santé voyage thailande


Are you a professional in Travel Health?
Find all the information on international health with the
Professional Package and Corporate Package

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When traveling, regardless of your destination or physical condition, a consultation with a trained health professional is expected at least 6 weeks before your departure.

Christine Dumontet RN 

President Dumontet CSV and Founder of Travel Health Assist