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Vaccinations for Malaysia

There are no essential vaccinations for entry into Malaysia from Western Europe. However boosters of your childhood vaccines and also vaccines against some of the food and water borne diseases are strongly recommended.

For the short-term tourist vaccinations for Malaysia usually consist of cover against Tetanus and Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Furthermore, those trekking or staying for longer periods will need to consider cover against a number of other diseases such as Rabies and Hepatitis B.

Most travellers to Malaysia should start their vaccines about 4 to 6 weeks before they leave home.

All over Malaysia the climate tends to be very humid though this can vary from location to location and throughout the year. Being so close to the equator, the sun is strong and proper care against sun burn must be constantly taken. Dehydration and loss of salt through perspiration are two other common problems for the unprepared traveller. Drink plenty of fluids and replace your salt loss. Make sure you pack clothing suitable for a warm humid climate.

Due to this constant humid climate mosquitoes tend to be present throughout the year and therefore malaria prophylaxis may be prescribed for you depending on your itinerary.

Violent crime against tourists is rare though petty incidents like bag snatching, burglaries and car break-in crimes are increasing. It is wise to take special care of your personal belongings when walking through some of the crowded market places or along the curb.

Malaysia is becoming a more common destination for holidays and also as a stop-off for those travelling on to Australia. With common-sense and care you should be able to have a very enjoyable safe time.

We also have an article with more specific information if you are planning on  travelling to Borneo.

All Travellers

Tetanus
Tetanus is contracted through contaminated cuts, bites and breaks in the skin. The vaccination provides cover for approximately 10 years in the majority of patients. It is frequently combined with cover against other diseases such as Poliomyelitis, Diphtheria and/or Pertussis.
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a common disease in many of the hotter regions of the world and usually contracted through contaminated food and water. Cover against Hepatitis A can be given alone or combined with protection against Typhoid or Hepatitis B. Once completed, the Hepatitis A vaccination (given on two occasions 6 to 12 months apart) provides cover for approximately 25 years in the majority of patients.
Typhoid
Typhoid is a bacterial disease contracted through contaminated food and water. This vaccine can be combined with cover against Hepatitis A. Once completed, the Typhoid vaccination given on one occasion provides cover for between 2 to 3 years in the majority of patients

Optional

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a viral disease which is usually transmitted in a very similar fashion to HIV/AIDS through contact with infected body fluids (eg blood exposure and sexually). This vaccine can be combined with cover against Hepatitis A. The standard schedule for Hepatitis B is to administer the vaccine on days 0, 28 and 180. A more rapid schedule can be used in cases where cover is needed more urgently and this is administered on days 0, 7, 21 to 28 and also 365. Following either course (and not before completion) a blood test can be taken to confirm sufficient antibody protection. Where the correct level of antibodies are showing (>100iu) the vaccination is recognised to provide cover for life.
Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease which is usually transmitted through the bite, the lick or the scratch of any infected warm blooded animal. The vaccine is usually administered on days 0, 7 and between 21 to 28. A final 4th vaccine is administered about 1 year later. Once a course is completed, the vaccination provides life long 'immune memory' in the majority of patients BUT after any possible exposure the individual always needs further vaccination to boost antibody production
Meningococcal Meningitis
Meningococcal Meningitis is a bacterial disease which is usually transmitted through the respiratory route. The vaccine is given on one occasion and provides cover against four of the main forms of this disease. Once a course is completed the vaccination provides for over 5 years in the majority of patients.

Country Profile

Find out more about the health risks you should be aware of when travelling in Malaysia by reading the DFA Malaysia country information page
or the WHO Malaysia country information page.