Thailand Vaccinations

See an updated list of Thailand vaccinations on my new site!

First read this – I’m not a travel doctor, you can get the list of “official” recommended Thailand vaccinations on the government CDC website.

Most travel clinics will recommend a ridiculous list of needed vaccinations for Thailand, typically erring on the side of caution which does no favors for your bank account – some of the series of shots can be hundreds of dollars!

Don’t wait until the last minute to get your vaccinations, some need to be spaced apart for proper immunization.  Get to a travel clinic early!

There are some travel vaccinations that you should have in place anyway for any country – they can even help to protect you at home.

Hepatitis A and B

Attacks your liver and there is no cure.  You get Hepatitis A through feces contaminated water.  Even if you don’t plan to drink the local water, what are they washing your plates or silverware with?  Not expensive bottled water!

You contract Hepatitis B through blood or sexual contact and it is more dangerous than A.

You need 2 – 3 shots spaced over a month apart to cover these properly. If you do not have time to finish the course before your trip, it may be possible to be “mostly covered” and get the last shot when you return.  Some clinics offer a shot that combines the two and vaccinations usually provide immunization for 10 years.

Tetanus and Diphtheria

This will be handy at home, so get it anyway.  Only one vaccination is needed to protect you for 10 years. The two can be combined into one single vaccination.


Typhoid comes from contaminated water and will give you a deadly fever.  Many travelers skip this one but I was involved in a Typhoid outbreak in rural China in 2007 and was quite happy that I had my vaccination!

The good news is that you can opt to take a set of 3 pills as your typhoid vaccination and they last longer than the shot – about 5 years.

Japanese B Encephalitis

This mosquito carried virus will make your brain swell, which doesn’t sound very pleasant, but is not too common.  The 3 necessary vaccinations are very expensive and hard to find in the US – not worth it unless you plan to live in a very rural border area as a volunteer or farmer.


For years travel clinics were recommending Rabies vaccinations for Thailand and Southeast Asia because of all the stray dogs, cats, and bats found in those countries.

Now there is quite a shortage of rabies vaccinations and they are very expensive. Not worth it unless you plan to work with animals or spend most of your time in caves.

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever is given as a single shot but you do not really need this vaccination for Thailand.  If you are doing an around the world trip and are arriving in a country after being in a Yellow Fever area such as Africa or South America you may be asked to show proof of vaccination before being allowed in.

Thailand Vaccinations

In conclusion, pretty much every vaccination needed for Thailand will help you in every developing country that you travel, so it is a good idea to get the ones mentioned above months before your trip.

Some of these vaccinations will give you a fever or make you feel sick and tired, so don’t plan to do a whole lot the night that you get them!