There is a lot to see and do, and enjoy in Sri Lanka and to make sure you get the most out of it you will want to ensure you are properly vaccinated. Take a few minutes to read the general advice on vaccines recommended before speaking to the Travel Vaccination Clinic about your individual circumstances and any vaccination needs you might have.
This website provides general advice on vaccinations for Sri Lanka and is not a substitute for adequate medical advice from the Travel Vaccination Clinic doctor or your own doctor. It is your responsibility to let the doctor know anything you think may be relevant to your vaccination program during your appointment. This will ensure you get the best possible advice with no unwanted consequences.
- Ensure you are up to date with childhood vaccinations
- Practice proper food safety and hygiene such as drinking boiled or bottled water, hand washing and eating in cleaner looking restaurants when possible
- Avoid mosquito bites where possible
- Inform the Travel Vaccination Clinic of your full travel plans and itinerary
Most common vaccines required for Sri Lanka
The following vaccines are required for most travellers going to Sri Lanka and are more likely to be recommended by your doctor. These are in addition to routine childhood vaccinations – so you should also ensure you are up to date with the usual program for Australia (or your country of origin). If you do not know or have any doubts whether you are up to date with childhood vaccinations, speak to the doctor about whether you might want a booster shot along with any other recommended vaccines. Common diseases such as measles, whooping cough and others are reappearing in different parts of the world so it is more important than ever that you remain up to date on these vaccines.
You may come into contact with the Hepatitis A virus through contaminated food or water in Sri Lanka – no matter where you decide to stay and eat. It is recommended generally that travellers get vaccinated against Hepatitis A before leaving home. Many travellers do not know that they carry the Hepatitis A virus for some time. Please do ensure you read the Hepatitis A information page and discuss any concerns with the doctor.
Typhoid can be contracted during your time in Sri Lanka. If you have typhoid you may experience flu like symptoms, but this can become more serious. Typhoid can be passed on to travellers through contaminated food or water. Please read the general information on this vaccine on the Typhoid information page to learn more. Rural areas usually pose an increased risk for typhoid infection.
Both Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations can be given to you in one shot, and this lasts for a number of years. Ask the Travel Vaccination Clinic about getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Typhoid, as well as taking food safety precautions to keep your risk of exposure minimal.
Hepatitis B can be passed on to you if you meet a new partner while in Sri Lanka, get a tattoo or piercing or undergo cosmetic medical procedures. The disease can be contracted through sexual contact, or exposure to needles or bodily fluids so the vaccine is highly recommended for anyone who might do anything that puts them at risk of contracting Hepatitis B. To read more about the virus, symptoms, and prevention visit the Hepatitis B information page.
It is important to note that yellow fever is not present in Sri Lanka, but you may need to produce proof you have been vaccinated against it if coming from particular countries. View the Yellow Fever information page and discuss any concerns with the doctor during your appointment.
Longer stays in Sri Lanka – additional vaccinations
For those staying a longer time in Sri Lanka, or travelling throughout the mountains, there are a few other vaccinations that may be needed to protect you against diseases you are more likely to be exposed to.
Rabies does exist in Sri Lanka, and certain groups of travellers may be at greater risk of coming into contact with the rabies virus. Those working with animals while in Sri Lanka, children, and those involved in outdoor activities. Anyone moving to Sri Lanka or staying for a longer time may also be exposed to the virus more readily than a typical tourist. Read more about the rabies virus on the Rabies information page before speaking to the doctor about your individual risk.
Japanese Encephalitis is considered to be endemic countrywide in Sri Lanka, meaning it could be present anywhere, except some mountainous regions. Japanese Encephalitis is a virus with flu like symptoms. If you are staying more than one month, planning to spend a lot of time outdoors hiking, camping etc then you may be at increased risk of contracting Japanese Encephalitis. Please speak to the doctor during your appointment about this vaccine if you are staying a longer period than one month in Sri Lanka.