Home TRAVEL TIPS Traveling To Asia and The Pacific? Here’s Your Travel Vaccine 101

Traveling To Asia and The Pacific? Here’s Your Travel Vaccine 101

As the world continues to open back up for adventurers, many are setting their sights on the vibrant and culturally rich destinations across Asia and the Pacific islands.

From the frenetic energy of cities like Tokyo and Singapore to the serene beaches of Thailand and the Philippines, this region is a true feast for the senses.

However, before you go exploring ancient temples, snorkeling coral reefs, or sampling exotic street foods, it’s crucial to ensure you’re up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations.

Staying on top of your immunization game is key for any international travel, but it’s especially important when venturing into developing nations.

Let this be your go-to guide for travel vaccines for Asia and the Pacific.

Routine Vaccinations First

First things first – make sure you’ve got all your standard immunizations covered well before your departure day.

Make sure you have vaccinations for diseases like:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Chickenpox
  • COVID-19
  • Influenza

These routine immunizations should be your starting point, as you don’t want to risk catching (or spreading) a preventable illness while abroad.

Specialized Travel Vaccines

In addition to routine vaccinations, there are several travel-specific vaccines recommended or required for many Asian and Pacific island destinations:

Hepatitis A

This highly contagious liver infection is spread through contaminated food and water. Since it’s so prevalent across Asia, the Hepatitis A vaccine is universally recommended for most travelers to the region.

Hepatitis B

Similarly, this bloodborne liver virus is endemic across many parts of Asia and the Pacific islands. The Hep B vaccine is typically given in a series of 2-3 doses for maximum protection.

Japanese Encephalitis

This mosquito-borne brain infection is a serious risk in rural areas across eastern and southern Asia.

The Japanese encephalitis vaccine is essential for outdoorsy travelers spending time outside cities in places like:

  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • The Philippines


Caused by contaminated food or water, typhoid fever is common across parts of Asia and the Pacific. The vaccination provides vital protection, especially for adventurous eaters sampling street food.


This fatal virus, spread through the bites of infected dogs, monkeys, bats, and other mammals, is present across much of Asia.

Pre-exposure rabies vaccination is recommended for:

  1. Long-term travelers
  2. Adventurous travelers who spend plenty of time outdoors or in rural areas
  3. Anyone with potential occupational exposure

Malaria Prevention

While not a vaccine, antimalarial medications are often crucial for travel across parts of Asia.

Highly recommended for rural areas with active malaria transmission in countries like:

  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • The Philippines

Be sure to discuss your specific Asian/Pacific itinerary with a travel health professional at least 4-6 weeks in advance to determine if antimalarials like doxycycline or Malarone are advisable.

Region-Specific Considerations

In addition to the above travel vaccines, be aware that some destinations across Southeast Asia may require or recommend additional immunizations.

For example, the Japanese encephalitis vaccine is considered an essential immunization requirement for travel to SEA by many experts.

Other potential vaccination needs could include:

  • Cholera (for certain high-risk regions)
  • Polio (with a booster for some Asian destinations)
  • Meningitis

Conclusion: Get Vaccine Ready!

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting all travel vaccines at least 4-6 weeks before departure because some immunizations are multi-dose series. Others may not take full effect for a few weeks so you need to take these in advance.

Don’t wait until the last minute! Schedule an appointment with a travel health clinic or physician as soon as you start mapping out your Asian/Pacific trip.

Bring a full itinerary detailing every stop and be sure to thoroughly discuss your specific plans to receive personalized vaccination recommendations.