Argentina – Before you leave
Argentina is a popular destination for Australian tourists and those on a gap year. If you are planning a trip to Argentina in the coming months you should speak to the Travel Vaccination Clinic doctor about what vaccinations you may need. There are some vaccines, outside of the childhood immunisation schedule, that may be recommended for your trip to Argentina. A yearly flu shot may also be recommended.
The vaccinations the doctor suggests will depend on a few factors, including:
- What time of year you are travelling
- Your current health, any history with diseases and prior vaccinations you have had
- Whether you plan on doing lots of outdoors and adventure activities, such as hiking, caving, mountain climbing or diving
- What style of travel and accommodation you will do, i.e backpacking or 5 star hotels?
- Whether you are moving to Argentina for an extended period or relocating
It is important that you arrange a proper consultation with a doctor at least two months before you plan to leave for Argentina so that they can advise you on what you need and any shots or boosters can be given to you in time.
What vaccinations are needed for travel to Argentina?
Before you go to Argentina you may be recommended the following vaccinations:
Hepatitis A and Typhoid
When in Argentina you may be exposed to hepatitis A and typhoid through contaminated food or water (including ice where you are not sure of the origin of the water before it was frozen). Both these diseases can occur among travellers who have not been vaccinated and do not take the proper precautions when it comes to hygiene and hand washing.
There is a combined vaccine that will protect you against hepatitis A and typhoid. This can be given in a single shot per dose and lasts a number of years, including for future travels you might go on.
Speak to the doctor about this vaccine, and read more about hepatitis A on the hepatitis page.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver, passed on through bodily fluid exchange. For this reason, the hepatitis B vaccine may be recommended for you if you might get a tattoo or piercing or undergo a medical procedure while in Argentina, or if you might meet a new sexual partner.
Malaria may be a risk if you are travelling near the Northern part of Argentina that borders Bolivia and Paraguay (Salta Province). This is particularly true during the wet season – May to August and November to January. Malaria is a mosquito borne illness, so it’s important to avoid mosquito bites as much as possible while travelling through Argentina. You can reduce your risk of mosquito bites by using repellent, wearing long loose clothing and trying to ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof, especially while asleep overnight. This may also help prevent diseases such as Cholera.
You may be recommended to take anti-malarial medication, or told to have some with you while travelling after you speak to the doctor.
Rabies is not generally considered a risk in Argentina, however some groups of travellers may still need to take precautions against infection from a dog or mammal bite. You should speak to a doctor, and may need a rabies preventative vaccine if you are:
- Planning to do a lot of outdoor activity while in Argentina, which may lead to contact with animals such as camping, hiking or caving
- Planning on working with animals while in Argentina (such as vet work or animal research)
- Planning a long trip to Argentina or moving to a rural area in Argentina
- Travelling with children who may not report contact with animals and may not report bites
Is there a risk of yellow fever in Argentina?
Some parts of Argentina do carry a risk of yellow fever infection, so in general this vaccination is recommended for travellers over the age of 9 months who are travelling to the Northern parts of Argentina bordering Brazil and Paraguay. The vaccine may not be recommended if you will only be travelling in certain provinces less than 2300m in elevation, but you should check this with the doctor. Depending on your travel itinerary you may be required to produce proof of yellow fever vaccination when returning to Australia from parts of Argentina.