Medical Q&As

Caribbean islands - travel vaccinations?

Are there any vaccinations required for the Caribbean Islands? I cannot find any information on your website.

The reason you could not find the information is because you probably sought the information under the name Caribbean islands. The information on our site regarding holiday vaccination requirements is listed by country and not by region. The Caribbean islands consist of several distinct countries and in order to get the information you need it is necessary to list the separate countries you intend to visit in order to establish which protection you need to take. For example if your itinerary included a stay in Haiti or certain regions in the Dominican Republic then you would need malaria prophylaxis whereas if you were traveling to any of the other islands no such prophylaxis is necessary. Schistosomiasis, which is a water borne parasitic infection, can be contracted by freshwater bathing in Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St Lucia and Guadeloupe but not in other islands. The central point I am making is that when deciding on vaccination and other health precautions it is necessary to list the actual itinerary. The travel health precautions that need to be taken can vary between different countries within a region. However, if you are simply taking a Caribbean cruise it may not be necessary to have any vaccinations, depending on the actual ports of call.