Health issues and the quality of medical facilities vary enormously depending on where and how you travel in Vietnam. Most major cities have good medical facilities while the rural areas are another matter.
Travelers tent to worry about contracting infectious diseases in Vietnam, but serious illnesses are rare. Accidental injury, especially traffic accidents occur for most life-threatening problems.
Before you go:
- Pack any medication in clearly labeled boxes
- Bring a letter from your doctor about your health status and medications.
- If you have a heart condition, bring a copy of a recent ECG.
- Bring extra supplies of any regular medication (in case of loss…)
Remember do not travel without health insurance no matter whether you are fit and healthy or not. Accidents can happen any time that you might not predict.
Required & Recommended Vaccinations
The only vaccine required by the international regulations is yellow fever. Proof of vaccination will only be required of you have visited a place in the yellow-fever zone within six days of entering Vietnam.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following vaccinations for travelers to Southeast Asia:
- Adult diphtheria and tetanus – single booster recommended if you’ve had none in the previous 10 years.
- Hepatitis A – provides almost 100% protections for up to a year; a booster after 12 months provides at least another 20 years’ protection.
- Hepatitis B – now considered routine for most travelers. Given as three shots over six months. A rapid schedule is also available, as is a combined vaccination with Hepatitis A. Lifetime protection occurs in 95% of people.
- Measles, mumps and rubella – two doses of MMR are required unless you have had the diseases. Many young adults require a booster.
- Typhoid – recommended unless your trip is less than a week and only to developed cities. The vaccine offers around 70% protections and lasts for two or three years.
- Varicella – if you haven’t had chickenpox, discuss this vaccination with your doctor.
Stay healthy and safe while traveling
- Eat and drink safely
- Prevent bug bite
- Stay safe outdoors
- Keep away from strange animals
- Reduce your exposure to germs
- Avoid sharing body fluids
- Know how to get medical care while traveling
- Select safe transportation
- Maintain personal security