Dominican Republic Malaria

Vaccines for Punta Cana, the Dominican RepublicAhhh the mid-winter get away…Sun, sand, vaccines. Vaccines, malaria.…Really? The beaches and resorts in the Dominican Republic are so lovely it’s hard to believe you need to protect yourself from infectious diseases while enjoying the tropical breezes. However, a quick check with the CDC confirms you will need a few vaccines along with protection from malaria, dengue, and cholera while visiting the Dominican Republic, even in the resort areas.

Note: This post contains general comments and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Visit your local travel medicine provider for advice specific to your individual health.

Routine Vaccines

All children and adults should be current on their routine vaccines, including a recent Tdap, flu vaccine, and a complete MMR series. You should also get protected from chickenpox either through vaccination or a prior case of chickenpox.

Many adults also need a pneumonia vaccine; travelers who smoke, have asthma, diabetes, other chronic health problems, or are over age 65 need protection with a pneumonia vaccine.

Travel vaccines

Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all travelers to the Dominican Republic.

You may want to consider typhoid vaccine if you will be leaving the resorts for more rustic eateries or visiting local residents.

Hepatitis B is recommend for prolonged stays, those who may need health care while in the Dominican Republic. People who anticipate contact with body secretions such as tattooing, dental work, or new sexual partners should also get protected.

Rabies vaccine is rarely, if ever, needed for travel to the resorts, your travel medicine provider can discuss whether this is right for you.

Many travelers are surprised to find out the CDC recommends protection from malaria in most of the Dominican Republic, including the coastal resorts (yes, even Punta Cana)

  • Remember, your anti-malarial medications are taken before you leave, while you are there, and for certain period of time after you return.
  • To prevent malaria you will need to apply your insect repellent during the late afternoon and evening.
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