Traveling abroad requires proper preparation, especially for trips to equatorial countries like Malaysia. Of course, before your visit to Malaysia, you may be wondering what the mandatory vaccinations for entry to Malaysia are. Fortunately, by the end of this article, you’ll have a complete picture of all the vaccinations you should have before you travel to this exciting country.
You may have already seen in media reports that the debate in Malaysia around inoculations is quite robust, with some doctors calling for mandatory vaccination of children in the country. However, whilst this is dominating the media landscape in the region, this needn’t concern travelers from outside the area.
Like any preparation for a trip to an exotic climate, you should always speak first with your doctor or a qualified medical professional. They will be able to see from access to your medical records just what inoculations you’ll need and be able to answer important questions about healthy travel in Malaysia.
Just as important a consideration as your health is having the right documents to travel to Malaysia. Visitors to the country from numerous other nations across Asia can now receive permission to enter quickly and easily with the help of a Malaysia eVisa.
For visitors from nations like India, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, this allows a quicker processing times. It also means that you no longer have to visit a consulate or embassy in order to be allowed into Malaysia.
Once you’re ready to travel to Malaysia, you only need to consider a few extra steps to keep your health in perfect order. Let’s look at those in a bit more detail.
What Vaccinations are Required to Enter Malaysia
As the debate rattles on between public health authorities and the government about the rules surrounding immunizations, you may be wondering how this affects tourists visiting the country. Foreign visitors should at the very least always make sure their vaccinations are up to date, although you normally won’t be asked on arrival for any proof of vaccinations.
However, at a bare minimum, you should consider getting information on the following crucial vaccinations for Malaysia:
Tetanus and Diptheria
Tetanus and diphtheria are very serious diseases that infect people via open cuts and wounds. As scratches and grazes are easy to get when traveling (especially if you’re visiting Malaysia’s lush rainforests). It’s better to be on the safe side and check if you need a booster shot from your doctor.
Hepatitis A is spread by contaminated food and water and can cause some unpleasant symptoms such as stomach pains, jaundice, and nausea. It is however very easily preventable via a vaccination at least one month before travel.
Typhoid is an endemic disease in Malaysia with small outbreaks occurring with some frequency. High fever, rashes, and headaches are all common symptoms of typhoid. If you are not already immunized against the illness, you should consider requesting a shot from your doctor before traveling.
Malaysia is free of yellow fever, although there are some state proceedures in place to ensure it doesn’t spread into the country. Travelers visiting from regions affected by the disease should always bring proof that they have been immunized against the illness or they may not be allowed to enter.
In general, a visit to Malaysia doesn’t require many essential injections. However, you may also consider getting the following optional vaccinations for Malaysia:
Hepatitis B is the more dangerous cousin of Hepatitis A. It also affects the liver, although it is spread via blood and bodily fluids rather than by contaminated food and water. However, if left untreated it can cause permenant damage through cirrhosis. Although it is less risky than the A strain, it’s still a good idea to make sure you are protected against it before you travel to the region.
Rabies is a very serious disease that affects the central nervous system and is spread via animal bites. As Malaysia contains many remote regions and a lot of wildlife, the risk of being bitten by an animal carrying the illness remains a possibility. Nevertheless, it is possible to vaccinate against rabies, although you probably will only need this if you’re going to be interacting with wildlife or visiting the most remote parts of the country.
Unlike many of the other illnesses on this list, meningococcal meningitis is spread via bacteria. However, as it affects the brain, it is considered highly dangerous and can be fatal. Occasional outbreaks do occur in Malaysia so it’s highly worth consulting a medical professional on getting immunized before your trip.
General safety tips for Malaysia
Malaysia is a safe country to visit as a tourist and you’re not likely to encounter many serious health risks. However, a few steps of care should be taken on a visit:
- Keep properly hydrated
- Avoid tap water and ice cubes
- Use proper sun protection
- Prevent against mosquito bites
- Stay away from wild animals
Being properly prepared for a trip to a country with beautiful rainforests, and exotic beaches like Malaysia is the best way to enjoy a carefree visit. That means having the right shots and being ready to travel with the correct Malaysia eVisa ready when you fly. That way you can enjoy the best this amazing country has to offer.