Travel Vaccination

It's time to pack your bags for that much-needed holiday! But, while you're packing, don't forget to get those vaccinations. It is good to know what vaccines are recommended for the country you will be travelling to. 

The most significant risk for Australians travelling overseas is the risk of catching a disease. For this reason, it’s important to discuss your travel plans with your doctor and get the appropriate vaccinations before you go on holiday or take an extended work trip. There are many different vaccines available that cover just about every country in the world-but which ones do you need? We’ve put together a handy guide to help you figure out what shots are suitable for where you’re going!

Benefits of travel vaccination

Reduces the Impact of Getting Sick Overseas

It sounds like a terrible fate. Getting sick overseas can be dangerous and expensive. It’s not just about your health either! You might lose money on medical bills or have to cancel the rest of your trip if you’re too ill to travel.

Anyone is susceptible when they are away from home for extended periods. Even healthy people sometimes catch an illness abroad without any symptoms beforehand-which leads me to my next point: always carry some supplies with you in case something does happen while travelling.

Reduces Financial Risks

When you get sick or injured, it may not be just your health that suffers. Instead, you could find yourself with a huge medical bill to pay for and no way out-unless, of course, you have travel insurance!

You’ll need to keep paying for things like food even when those pesky stomach bugs hit. If what the doctor says isn’t pleasant news, don’t forget about all the unexpected events, such as being unable to continue on an important journey due to injuries sustained while travelling.

If you’re travelling overseas, it’s essential to remember that your Medicare and PBS schemes don’t apply. You’ll have to pay out of pocket for any medical care or prescription medication if you need it while over there.


FAQ About Travel Vaccinations

With so many requirements to consider, you must research the necessary vaccines before travelling.

There are no standard immunisation schedules that will suit all travellers. In addition, different countries have different vaccination requirements, and the recommended vaccines for travelling depend on several factors:

  • The country you’re going to visit. 
  • Where in that country you’ll be visiting (e.g., rural vs city) 
  • What is your age?
  • Pregnancy or planning pregnancy
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Vaccination history
  • Location
  • Season of travel

If you plan to depart Australia within six to twelve weeks, you should consult with your GP.

Trying to find out what vaccines you need for your trip at the last minute is a bad idea, so don’t wait until the last minute. You might need one or two doses of a particular vaccine. Still, it could take several weeks after immunisation for your body’s immune system to develop complete immunity-which is why many people choose not to get vaccinated at all!

Travel is an important time for parents to make sure their kids are up-to-date on vaccinations. These can be routine childhood vaccines and boosters that should have been done years ago, so don’t hesitate!

This includes measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis), polio, and chickenpox (varicella). While travelling overseas, there may be a greater risk of contracting these diseases. In addition, there are diseases that travellers can bring into Australia. As a result, diseases can spread.

Most people who travel catch the flu (influenza), which a vaccine can prevent.

The internet is an excellent resource for many things, but it’s important to take what you find with a grain of salt. Make sure you talk to your doctor or visit the nearest travel health clinic before making an informed decision about vaccinations.

See Travel Health Information for things to consider before you leave, while away, and when you return.

More information about vaccinations and tips for staying healthy while overseas:

Don’t put your health at risk by not checking in with the doctor before you leave. They can tell you if an update on immunisations is needed to protect yourself from common diseases wherever you’re going. Also, your immunity may have weakened because of age or being born outside the country, so make sure they know about any complications!


It’s found mostly in places with poor water and waste services; it spreads through contaminated food or water, causing severe diarrhea and dehydration, but the risk of acquiring cholera, in general, is very low for most people (such as myself). So cholera vaccination isn’t required if you’re travelling around… unless your occupation requires that kind of thing, such as humanitarian disaster workers, who are more likely to get infected!

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases in travellers. It’s a liver disease spread by contaminated food or water, and it usually starts with flu-like symptoms before becoming severe enough to cause death.

Hepatitis A is more prevalent in developing countries than in developed countries as they don’t have access to clean water or sanitation services as we do here in Australia. As a result, the disease is common in India, Africa, Asia, South and Central America, and the Middle East.

The hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all travellers older than one year who will be visiting countries with a high incidence of the disease.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is a severe disease spread by mosquitoes throughout Asia and Australia’s Torres Strait region. We recommend vaccination for travellers to these countries who are travelling to Asia and Papua New Guinea who are:

  • Travelling in rural areas
  • Undertaking certain activities
  • Spend a month or more in the region.

In addition to vaccination, avoiding mosquito bites is also important.


Typhoid is a disease spread through contaminated food or water and causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. It can be found in developing countries with poor sanitation and limited access to clean water. Still, you may also find it in India, Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East.

Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a terrible disease, and, sadly, mosquitoes are the carriers. This illness causes severe fevers, jaundice of your skin (yellowing), liver failure, kidney failure… you name it! It is present in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America. Yellow fever vaccinations are required for entry into some countries. 

For serious injuries and illness,

call an ambulance on triple zero (000) or visit your nearest hospital emergency department.

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