Vietnam is home to exotic and beautiful natural wonders. It has a complex history and a fascinating culture. More and more people are traveling each year to Vietnam to discover their limestone islands, the cave systems in Phong Nha-Ke Bang, and more. But travelers often wonder if vaccines are necessary to travel to Vietnam. Currently, there are no compulsory vaccinations for Vietnam. However, it is advised to check with a doctor or healthcare professional about the recommended vaccines for Vietnam. This might vary depending on the country where you live.
Besides worrying about which vaccines are necessary to travel to Vietnam, many travelers wonder if they need a visa to enter Vietnam. Most foreign visitors must have a visa to travel to Vietnam for tourism purposes. The country launched an online visa system to simplify the process of getting a visa. The Vietnam eVisa is available to citizens of 80 countries.
The eVisa for Vietnam grants the holder a stay of 30 days in the country. This tourist visa for Vietnam can also be used for other purposes including business, journalism, studying, or visiting friends and family. Travelers must meet the Vietnam online visa requirements, and should have a valid passport, a digital passport photo, and email address and a debit or credit card.
Which vaccines should I get to travel to Vietnam?
Even though there aren’t immigration regulations in Vietnam that require foreign travelers to get vaccinated, there are some vaccines that are recommended for most travelers.
These are the recommended travel vaccinations for Vietnam:
- Hepatitis A – Most travelers are advised to get this vaccine because hepatitis A spreads through contaminated food or water, regardless of where the traveler is staying in Vietnam.
- Hepatitis B – This disease can be contracted via blood and bodily fluids. It is also advised to get, but not mandatory.
- Typhoid – While in Vietnam, you can get typhoid through contaminated food or water. This is a highly recommended vaccine for most travelers, especially if they will be going to rural areas.
- Japanese Encephalitis – This vaccine is recommended depending on the length of the trip, the time of year of the trip and the regions the traveler will be visiting. If a lot of time will be spend outdoors and in rural areas it is best to get it. The disease spreads through mosquito bites.
- Rabies – Spreads through saliva of infected animals. This vaccine is recommended if the traveler will be spending a lot of time outdoors and will be around animals a lot.
Some of these vaccinations can be taken in the form of a pill, while others are an injection. Check with your doctor or healthcare professional before getting a vaccine. In some countries, like Spain and the Netherlands, there are international vaccination centers that advise their citizens on the vaccines they should be getting for their travels depending on the destination and their medical history.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. advises travelers who wish to travel to Vietnam to be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and polio vaccine.
Recommendations to avoid getting sick while in Vietnam
Traveling is often an exciting experience, especially when visiting a new or exotic place like Vietnam. However, getting sick on a trip is anything but fun. Even if you don’t get some vaccines, there are some actions you can take to stay healthy during your trip to Vietnam.
- Eat and drink safely. Always drink bottled water and whenever possible eat food that is cooked and served hot.
- Prevent bug bites. Get mosquito repellent and apply it throughout the day.
- Keep away from animals: monkeys, street dogs, bats, etc. It is best to avoid contact with street animals whenever possible. Do not feed animals you don’t know, and do not let them lick you, especially if you have open wounds.
- Reduce your exposure to germs. Be sure to wash your hand often, especially before eating. Take hand sanitizer with you and avoid touching your face.
- Make smart decisions during your trip. Practice safe sex and avoid extreme alcohol consumption.