Before you get on the plane you know that there are already a whole bunch of things that need doing first. The most common question that people ask is about vaccinations, which ones are required, which ones are recommended and which ones are not entirely necessary.
The answer is different for different people and will end up with what you feel comfortable with. Many people have lived for years in Bali and Indonesia without ever having a single vaccination or a single problem related to not having one. Your health is important and if you feel that you are better safe than sorry then you should start your vaccination regimen at least a month before departing.
Below is a list of diseases that you can protect yourself from before arriving.
- Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis)
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese Encephalitis
- Yellow Fever
Diphtheria – Treatment to be started one day or more before arriving
Diphtheria is a very serious throat infection which can be caught through other people through the air.
Hepatitis A (infectious Hepatitis) – Treatment to be started one week before arriving
You can catch Hepatitis A through contaminated food and water products. If you plan to eat at many local warungs where sanitation is not always first priority, then you may consider this one. The vaccination consists of two shots spread 12 months apart. The first should protect for 12 months and the second for the subsequent 24 years.
Hepatitis B – Treatment to be started four weeks before arriving
Hepatitis is spread though the blood as well as during sexual activity. In small children the disease can also be spread through saliva. The vaccination is made up of three shots with the first two being four weeks apart and the third one coming six months later.
Tetanus – Treatment to be started one day or more before arriving
If your Tetanus has not been updated within the last 10 years then you may want to get it done again before coming. Wounds are known to heal much more slowly here in the tropics, so this would be a good one to have anyways.
The prevention against Malaria is a very controversial topic when it comes to Bali. While the risk of contracting Malaria in Bali is not nonexistent, it is not the least bit common either. For the most part, Malaria in Bali can be prevented with simple protection against mosquito bites. If you plan to do a lot of travel to other islands in the Indonesian archipelago where Malaria is more of a problem then you may want to think about having some protection. The drugs for Malaria protection can have some nasty side effects, so it is best to talk with your doctor first about which one would be right for you.
Japanese Encephalitis – Treatment to be started four weeks before arriving
This is another virus that is spread by mosquitos and the vaccination includes 3 injections with two weeks in between and will offer protection for up to two years. Your risk for acquiring this disease are low, especially if you spend the majority of your time in major urban areas.
Yellow Fever – Treatment to be started 10 days before arriving
Yellow Fever is not a disease that is endemic in Bali, but those wanting the complete cocktail may want to get treated. If you have visited a country where Yellow Fever is present however (even just in transit), then you will be required to show proof of your vaccination upon arrival.
This list in no way implies that all of these vaccinations are necessary to a safe life in Bali. These are just options that you may want to consider. You should figure out which ones you are going to get (if any) and give yourself enough time to start treatment according to the vaccine that needs to be started earliest.
In the past couple of years Rabies has been seeing an outbreak in Bali. There are many myths about Rabies in Bali, so it warrants its own section.