As I am a medical professional who lives in Bali, you have come to the right place to get help deciphering what vaccinations you need for next trip to Bali!
The recommendations made here are accurate at the time of writing, but I recommend you always double check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for updates before you travel to any destination.
Consider this blog post as general advice only. Vaccines are often updated and changed. Also, you should not rely upon this information as a substitute for medical advice.
How far in advance should I get vaccinated before traveling?
In general, you should try to get your vaccinations 6-8 weeks prior to travel. This will allow the vaccines to take effect before you actually travel. It also gives you extra time in case certain vaccinations require more than one dose. (OIDP, 2021)
However, if you don’t have 6-8 weeks, just get the vaccinations as soon as you can before you leave.
Where to get vaccinations for international travel
Many local health departments provide vaccinations for international travel. Call ahead to verify that they offer this service and to find out if you need to schedule an appointment.
There are also travel clinics in many areas that can provide travel vaccines, advice, and other medications for international travel. However, these tend to be a little more expensive since you are paying for an office visit with a medical provider, as well.
The CDC has a website that helps traveler’s find clinics that provide travel vaccinations here:
What vaccinations are required to travel to bali?
There are really no required vaccinations to enter Bali. However, there are several vaccines that are recommended which I will detail below.
Update (June 2023): You no longer need to show proof of COVID vaccination for entrance into Bali or anywhere in Indonesia.
COVID vaccination requirements to enter Bali
As of July 28, 2023 it is not required to show proof of COVID vaccination to enter Bali.
The situation surrounding COVID vaccination requirements has been fluid, and we recommend that you check the current requirements at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Indonesia website here before coming:
Vaccinations for Bali 2023
Routine vaccines are vaccines that are recommended for everyone living in the United States of America. I often hear these called “childhood vaccines,” but some of these require boosters into adolescence or adulthood.
There are also vaccines that are recommended specifically for adolescents and/or adults. So the name “routine vaccines” is actually more accurate! Before you travel, check your records to make sure that you have received all routine vaccinations.
- Chicken Pox (Varicella)
- This was added as a routine childhood vaccination in 1995. If you received your childhood vaccinations before 1995, you only need chicken pox vaccination if you have never had chicken pox. If you are unsure, contact your medical provider. There is a blood test that can be done to determine if you have immunity to chicken pox.
- This vaccination should be given every 10 years. However, if you have a penetrating injury or are pregnant, you may need a booster earlier.
- Flu (Influenza)
- This is a yearly vaccination. The flu seasons in Bali and the USA do not line up. So personally I do not think this one is the end of the world to miss as far as travel to Bali is concerned.
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- The MMR vaccination series is usually started at 12 months of age. However the CDC recommends that children 6-11 months of age get one dose prior to international travel. This does not count toward the routine vaccination series. It is in addition to the MMR vaccinations they will get as part of their routine childhood vaccinations. (CDC, 2022)
- The shingles vaccine is recommended for people 50 years of age and older or for people over 19 years of age with a weakened immune system
- COVID (see section above)
Travel vaccinations you need for Bali
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis A vaccination became a part of the routine childhood vaccinations in 2006. If you received your childhood vaccinations before that time, you may not have received this vaccination. Check with you medical provider to ensure you have received the Hepatitis A vaccination before travel to Bali. (CDC, 2010)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B vaccination became a part of routine childhood vaccinations in 1991. Again if you received your childhood vaccinations before that time, and have not received it for another reason, the Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended. (CDC, 2008)
- Bali is part of Southeast Asia, which is high risk for typhoid. (Buckle et. al., 2012) The typhoid vaccine used to be available in an oral form, as well as the injection. The oral vaccine lasted 5 years, but unfortunately, the maker of this vaccine temporarily stopped manufacturing and selling it. So right now the only option if the injection form of the vaccine, which lasts two years. (Appiah et al, 2021)
Travel vaccinations you might need for Bali
- Japanese Encephalitis
- I have found that most travelers from the western world are not familiar with this Japanese Encephalitis. This disease is spread through mosquitos and is endemic (regularly found) in Bali. The Japanese Encephalitis vaccine is a routine childhood vaccine in Bali. For traveler’s the risk of Japanese Encephalitis infection is actually very low. However, the risks if you do get the disease are significant. 20-30% of patients will die and 30-50% will end up with some kind of permanent condition related to the infection. This could range from learning disabilities to cognitive impairment. The United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that people get vaccinated for Japanese Encephalitis if they are moving to Bali, are staying for greater than a month, or if they frequently travel to areas where Japanese Encephalitis is a risk. Travelers who come during rainy season, November to April are also at an increased risk as the mosquitos are more prevalent this time of year. Other factors that increase the risk of Japanese Encephalitis are extensive outdoor activities, visiting rural areas, and staying in accommodations without air conditioning or use of screens or bed nets. (Hills et. al., 2019)
- The Japanese Encephalitis vaccine is not recommended if you are here for less than a month, are staying in the main tourist areas, or are here during dry season.
- Japanese Encephalitis vaccination is VERY expensive in the United States. We chose to get vaccinated in Asia, because it is a fraction of the cost. If you plan to do more traveling in Asia throughout your life, you many want to consider getting the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine while you are here.
- There is no vaccine for Malaria, but prescription medication is available to take to prevent illness. However, malaria risk is quite low in Bali. At the time of writing, there was no transmission reported in the resort areas of Bali or Ubud. (Tan & Arguin, 2021)
- Rabies has been present on Bali since 2008. Nearly all cases are related to dog bites, so avoiding animal bites is important. While the government and other organizations have been working to vaccinate dogs and euthanize infected dogs, the disease has not been eradicated from the island. (Putra et al., 2013; Hewan, 2022) While the risk of infection is small, getting appropriate treatment following exposure can be difficult since supply is not always reliable in Bali. If you are a traveler who plans to do a lot of outdoor and ‘off the beaten track’ adventures, you should consider vaccination. You should also take into consideration the length of your stay, how often you plan to travel to Bali or other areas where rabies is present, and other factors that would increase your chance of exposure. Children are also more likely to be bitten by dogs, so consider this when you are making decisions about rabies vaccinations, as well. Travelers who stay in tourist areas are unlikely to encounter rabies. If you feel unsure about whether to be vaccinated, you should discuss your itinerary with a travel health professional.
- Yellow Fever
- Yellow Fever vaccination is required only if you are traveling from a country that has Yellow Fever. (2022, CDC) Travelers coming from the United States are not required to have this vaccine.
Where to get more information about vaccinations for Indonesia
Hopefully the information in this post has helped you to identify the vaccines you wish to get before travel for Bali. However, we always recommend that you check the current recommendations prior to any trip. For the latest information from the CDC on travel vaccine recommendations for Indonesia, visit the following link:
Vaccinations for Bali 2023 in a Nutshell
Bali is an incredible island that will knock your socks off! If you are prepared with the appropriate vaccinations for your situation, you will enjoy your time in Bali with minimum worry! Plan ahead, be prepared, and enjoy the best trip of your life on the island of the Gods!
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