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daria26 Jul 7th, 2011 01:14 PM

Vaccinations for SE Asia?
Hi all!
I am going to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in a month and would like to find out what vaccinations I need. Thanks!!

Kathie Jul 7th, 2011 01:35 PM

Start by going to Read it all and print out the relevant parts. Take this with you when you see your travel med professional.

Note that ther are no required vaccines for these countries (unless you are entering the country from a Yellow Fever area in South America or Africa.). These recommendations are what are considered wise to have but no one will require you to do so.

If you do a search here, you'll find that this question gets answered with some frequency. I'm going to cut and past from a previous post I made in response to a similar question.

You need to make sure your tetanus is up to date. Check on whether you need a booster for measles/mumps/rubella. Insurance should cover this.

Hep A you should have that even if you stay at home. If you haven't had it, consider getting the Hep A/Hep B combination. Insurance will probably cover this.

Typhoid is important.

Japanese Encephalitis is only recommended if you are spending 6 or more weeks in a rural farming area. Unlesss you are doing something unusual for a traveler, it is very unlikely that you need this.

Malaria meds: Many of the places you are going are not malarial risk. Almost none of Thailand is, except for border areas. Much of VN is no longer malarial risk, but much of Laos and Cambodia are. So if you opt for Malarone, you can start taking it one day before entering the malarial risk area, and continue it for 7 days after, then re-start it for the next area. It is likely you could be off anti-malarials for extended periods during your trip. Take a look at the cdc info on malarial risk areas, and also check out the NHS website, fitfortravel. BTW the cheapest place to buy malarone in the US is at Costco.

Make sure you have plenty of mosquito repellant, as there are a number of diseases carried by mosquitos - not just malaria but also dengue and JE. If you can find it, get the microencapsulated type by Sawyers.

Vientianeboy Jul 15th, 2011 01:21 AM

A frequent question.
Hep A, Heb B, Typhoid and Tetanus. These are shots you should have anyway.
Don't worry about anti malaria prophylactics unless you are going for an extended jungle trek. They are not needed even in Lao or Cambodia. If you need expert advice, speak to a specialist in tropical medicine who lives or has lived/worked in the area. The specialist will be able to give you real advice, not some overcautious potted advice from a website. Dengue fever is a far more serious threat and there is nothing you can take for that.
As a matter of interest the doctors from both the embassy clinics here in Vientiane argue strongly against the use of anti malaria prophylactics.

crellston Jul 15th, 2011 01:37 AM

"As a matter of interest the doctors from both the embassy clinics here in Vientiane argue strongly against the use of anti malaria prophylactics." Why is that exactly?

qwovadis Jul 15th, 2011 02:18 AM each country for correct info.

Travel MD consult always wise.

Failure to adhere carefully to food and water precaitions

causes the most disease jabs for me Hepatitis A usual

childhood typhoid partially effective wise if eating street

food but overkill in most situations if you are careful

with food water where the disease comes from.

No need for Hep B unless planning intimacy with locals

blood transfusions or tatoos...

Malaria Preventives in risk areas

Doxycycline easy for me cheap generic 100 mg for me

from Wal Mart $12 for #270 insect preautions for sure

works well for Dengue too...

Stick with MD Travel Professionals for best advice...

You will get sick less and live longer,,,

sf7307 Jul 15th, 2011 11:10 AM

We were only in cities - Hanoi, Hue, HoiAn, HCMC, Siem Reap and Hong Kong, and got HepA & B, Typhoid and made sure our DPT were up to date. Our travel clinic said anti-malarials were not indicated, but we chose to get Malarone anyway. That was it.

Vientianeboy Jul 15th, 2011 05:25 PM

They say they are not worth the risks of the possible side effects, Crellston. Also they really are not needed unless you are spending quite a lot of time in jungle areas.
One of them stated that there are so many strains that are now resistant to Doxy or Malarone, that it is largely a waste of time taking them anyway.

Kathie Jul 15th, 2011 07:57 PM

VB, you'd best check your sources on these matters.

There are no documented strains of malaria that are resistant to doxy, and there have only been a few isolated clusters of malarone resistance in Africa. Both Doxy and Malarone are considered effective wold-wide. Larium resistance, however, is present in SE Asia. Larium is the anti-malarial with the well-publicised side effects. Doxy's possible side effects are increased sun-sensitivity and sometimes vaginal yeast infections for women. Malarone has the fewest side effects, usually GI symptoms that can be mitigated by taking it with food. Chloroquinine resistance is wide-spread; it has not been recommended for SE Asia in decades.

crellston Jul 15th, 2011 09:55 PM

Vientinaneboy- It seems you are basing your comments, which are no doubt well meaning, on heresay from unnamed sources at unnamed embassies. If your sources are really giving out this advice, I would seriously doubt there qualifications!

I think it is safe to assume from this post and your previous similar posts that you are not a medical professional. With this in mind do you not think that it is rather irresponsible to spout this unsubstantiated advice? Just suppose for one moment that people were reading this and took you at your word and did not take appropriate precautions and contracted malaria as a result!

Surely it is better to base ones decisions on qualified advice from professionals who, in turn, base there advice on informed and reliable opinion from the major tropical disease centres such as the NHS in the UK or the CDC in US. I really do not see any advantage in seeking advice from "specialist in tropical medicine who lives or has lived/worked in the area" even if it were possible to locate such an individual.

The advice from the major websites may well be overly cautious but there are good reasons for that i.e. malaria still kills more people worldwide than any other disease. Much better to be cautious than to suffer the alternative.

daria26 Jul 17th, 2011 06:24 AM

Thanks so much everyone for contributing!

Vientianeboy Jul 21st, 2011 06:07 PM

Crellston, sorry for not replying sooner, but for some reason I have had problems logging in.
The doctor at the French Embassy Clinic here is an expert on tropical diseases with numerous publications . He has worked in China and Indonesia before coming to Lao. The doctor to whom I spoke at the Australian Embassy clinic has undertaken specialist training in tropical medicine and has worked in this area for many years. On this basis how can you "seriously doubt their qualifications?"
I would MUCH rather take advice from experts in the field than from extremely conservative institutions such as the NHS in the UK or the CDC in US. These institutions are paranoid about getting sued in the litigious society in which we live. Consequently their advice id ultra conservative. A comparison can be drawn to the travel warnings for Lao which exist on the US Embassy website. Frankly these are ridiculous and hopelessly out of date.

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