Indonesia: Travel Vaccines & Health Advice
These are some of the major health risks and vaccinations that you’ll need to consider for a trip to Indonesia.
We stock most required vaccines on-site. You should ideally see us 4-6 weeks before your trip.
Highly recommended. Hepatitis A is a viral disease that affects the liver. You can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in this country, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
Immunisation is the best protection against hepatitis A infection and is recommended for travel to this area. It involves either 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine, or 3 doses of the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines given as a combination.
Safe food and water practices are the basis of prevention, but vaccination is also recommended for travel to this area. Immunity post-vaccination lasts for 2-3 years.
Some travellers may require:
You should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria.
You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Effective options would include doxycycline, atovaquone/proguanil or mefloquine.
Malaria is present throughout the year in rural Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Nusa Tenggara Barat (no risk in urban areas); in all areas of eastern Indonesia (provinces of Papua Indonesia, Irian Jaya Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Maluku, and Maluku Utara); no risk in Jakarta, resort areas of Bali and the island of Java, except for the Menoreh Hills in central Java.
Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in this country, but it is not a major risk to most travellers. The vaccine is only recommended for these groups:
- Travellers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that put them at risk for animal bites (such as adventure travel and caving).
- People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
- People who are taking long trips or moving to remote areas
Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip, such as:
- measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
- diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine
- varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
- influenza vaccine
Other health considerations for travellers to Indonesia
Dengue fever is an infection transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. There is no vaccine to prevent infection, so you should protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times in dengue areas.
Chikungunya is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. It is occurs in Africa, India, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific.
There is no vaccine currently available. Preventing mosquito bites is the only way to reduce your risk of infection.
Hookworm (Cutanea Larva Migrans)
Hookworm is a parasite that can infect humans in countries with poor sanitation and a warm, moist climate. Hookworm larvae penetrate through intact skin (such as walking with bare feet), and can go on to cause severe gastrointestinal and skin infections.
You should avoid walking barefoot in areas where there may be contaminated soil. In addition, don’t touch soil or sand with your bare hands.
Japanese encephalitis vaccine
Japanese encephalitis is found in many part of Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China, especially in the wet season
You may need this vaccine if:
- Your trip will last more than a month, depending on where in the country you are going and what time of year you are traveling.
- You plan to spend extended periods in rural areas or will be spending a lot of time outdoors
Lymphatic filariasis or elephantiasis is a tropical disease caused by parasitic worms spread by infected mosquitoes. Although most cases are symptomless, the disease can occasionally cause severe swelling in the legs, arms and genitals.
Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium (Burkholderia pseudomallei) which lives in soil and water. It is an important public health issue in parts of Vietnam and northern Australia.
In endemic areas, people (rice-paddy farmers in particular) are warned to avoid contact with soil, mud, and surface water where possible
Plague is a serious infection caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Humans can catch the infection via infected fleas or by inhalation. Untreated plague can be rapidly fatal, so diagnosis and early treatment are essential.
Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is a common, serious infection caused by a parasite found in rivers, streams and lakes in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and South America. The parasite infects people by penetrating their skin then developing in the person’s blood stream.
No vaccine is available. To avoid bilharzia:
- avoid paddling, swimming and washing in fresh water – only swim in the sea or chlorinated swimming pools
- take waterproof trousers and boots with you if there’s a chance you’ll need to cross a stream or river
- boil or filter water before drinking – as the parasites could burrow into your lips or mouth if you drink contaminated water
- avoid medicines sold locally that are advertised to treat or prevent schistosomiasis – these are often either fake, substandard, ineffective or not given at the correct dosage
- don’t rely on assurances from hotels, tourist boards or similar that a particular stretch of water is safe – there have been reports of some organisations downplaying the risks
Wearing enclosed footwear in undeveloped areas is important to prevent hookworm. Hookworms penetrate through intact skin such as walking with bare feet, and can cause severe gastrointestinal and skin infections.
Traveller’s diarrhoea affects roughly 20-50% of overseas travellers. It is caused by ingesting contaminated food or water. The bacteria that trigger the illness may appear harmless to the local population, usually because they have developed immunity to them. Symptoms include abdominal bloating, cramps, nausea, fevers and diarrhoea.
Tips to prevent traveller’s diarrhoea:
- Avoid contaminated foods such as raw or peeled vegetables, undercooked meats, unpasteurised dairy products and food from street vendors.
- Avoid drinking or brushing your teeth with tap water
- Buy bottled water to drink
- Boil tap water for at least 5 minutes before drinking it
- Avoid drinks that contain ice
- Avoid using tap water to wash your fruit and vegetables
- Wash your hands and eat at reputable restaurants.
Tuberculosis is a disease caused by infection with the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis can damage a person’s lungs or other parts of the body and cause serious illness.
- Avoid exposure to people who have active tuberculosis.
- Only consume pasteurized milk products.
- Travellers at higher risk should be tested for tuberculosis upon their return home.
- There is a vaccine available which confers partial protection. Speak to your doctor to determine if this is recommended.
Zika virus is a mild febrile illness, spread via the bite of an infected mosquito or by having sex with an infected person. Studies have shown that Zika virus infection in a pregnant woman can be transmitted to the baby, causing congenital problems such as microcephaly.
The best way to prevent Zika is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Pregnant women should consider deferring travel to high risk countries
This information is intended as a guide only and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Recommendations on vaccinations and medications require assessment on an individual basis, taking into account factors such as your medical history, itinerary, length of stay and style of travel.