Travel Vaccinations

Learn about travel vaccinations and the different types available in Singapore.

What are Travel Vaccinations?

Vaccines help to prevent certain serious or deadly infections. They work by preparing the body to fight the germs that cause the infections. The infections that are considered common may be different in different countries. If you are vaccinated, you are less likely to be infected and become seriously ill compared to those who are not vaccinated.

Why do I need Travel Vaccinations?

Travel vaccinations help to reduce the chances of travellers falling sick and spreading diseases to those who are more prone to infections, like children and the elderly.

What Travel Vaccinations are available in Singapore?

There are many vaccines available in Singapore. Depending on which part of the world you are travelling to, you may need multiple types of vaccine to stay protected. You should make an appointment with a doctor who may advise you on your vaccination needs and recommend suitable vaccines based on your age, health conditions and the countries you are visiting. Below are some examples of travel vaccinations available in Singapore.


Hepatitis A is a viral infection which causes the liver to become inflamed and enlarged. It is found all over the world. You are more likely to get infected with hepatitis A if you visit rural areas. You may be infected from eating or drinking unclean food or water. The most effective way to protect against hepatitis A is through vaccination.


Hepatitis B is a viral infection which causes the liver to become inflamed and may lead to complications such as liver failure and liver cancer. It is transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids from an infected person. Hepatitis B vaccination has been part of the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS) since 1985. Hepatitis B occurs in nearly every part of the world but is more common in some countries in Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.


Typhoid is spread through sewage contamination of food or water and through person-to-person contact. There is a higher risk of getting typhoid infection if you travel to countries with low standards of hygiene such as some parts of Northern and Western Africa and Southern Asia. Vaccination may not be 100% effective against typhoid. It is recommended that you practise safe food hygiene habits such as avoiding raw foods and tap water.


Meningococcal bacteria is spread through respiratory and throat secretions (saliva or spit) or when in close prolonged contact with an infected person through the air. Meningococcal disease may cause long-term disabilities such as brain damage, loss of limbs and deafness. Travellers who are heading to Mecca (Saudi Arabia) for Hajj or Umrah and sub-Saharan Africa may be at higher risk. To protect yourself, get vaccinated before travel and avoid crowded, enclosed spaces. If you come in close contact with a person with meningococcal disease, you should see a doctor immediately to get antibiotics to prevent you from getting sick.


Although Singapore has been rabies-free since 1953, there are still many reported cases of rabies in neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines. Rabies is caused by a virus that is most often spread through the bite of an infected animal. Besides vaccination, you may protect yourself by avoiding contact with roaming animals and avoid contact with bats if you are visiting caves.


Japanese Encephalitis is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk is highest during the rainy season in Southeast Asia. However it also changes according to the season where you are traveling, how long you are travelling for, where you are going and the activities you are doing. It may be prevented by vaccination, and by protecting yourself from mosquito bites with the use of insect repellents, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, and sleeping under mosquito nets.


Yellow fever is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Some countries require you to show proof of yellow fever vaccination certificate (yellow card) when you arrive. You are advised to get vaccinated if you are travelling to urban and rural areas of Africa, Central and South America. Yellow fever may be prevented by vaccination and protecting yourself from mosquito bites by using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, and sleeping under mosquito nets.


If you belong to any of the following groups, you are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications:

  • You have certain long-term medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease
  • You are aged 65 or older
  • You are younger than 5 years old
  • You are pregnant 

Influenza is spread easily from person to person through respiratory droplets (very small drops of saliva or mucus in the air) and contact. It is important that you get vaccinated to prevent the likelihood of getting a flu. Frequent handwashing and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing helps to prevent flu from spreading.


Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria. It is very common in Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Cholera vaccine for travellers is only indicated for those travelling for more than 1 month in areas affected by cholera. It is prevented by maintaining good food hygiene, hygienic disposal of human waste and having a supply of safe drinking water.

When should I get my Travel Vaccinations?

You should schedule your vaccination appointment at least 4 - 6 weeks before travelling to ensure that you get your vaccines in time. This is because most vaccines take 1 - 2 weeks to take effect and some have to be given in 2 - 3 separate doses for full protection.

Where can I get my Travel Vaccinations?

Most clinics, polyclinics and hospitals in Singapore offer vaccination services.

What are the side effects of these vaccinations?

The common side effects of most injected vaccinations include but are not limited to:

Side effectsHow to manage
Pain, redness, swelling at the injection site

Adults: Paracetamol (500mg) - Take 1 to 2 tablets every 6 hours as needed

Children: Check with pharmacist

Fever, chills
Headache, muscle pain, joint pain
Lymph node swelling at neck or armsUsually gets better by itself in a week or so



This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

The content above is solely for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or supplement, or adopting any treatment for a health problem.

Last updated on April 2024

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