There are plenty of reasons to travel to Australia for a holiday. Tourists flock to Australia for stunning natural beauty spots such as Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef, to explore exciting metropolitan cities like Sydney and Melbourne, and to witness the unique local wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies and koala bears.
However, before traveling to the country, foreign visitors first have to meet the entry requirements for Australia. The majority of passport holders require some type of Australia visa to enter the country, and many eligible citizens are able to easily get an e-Tourist Visa Australia online (either an ETA or an eVisitor visa) for short stays. The traveler may also be required to get some vaccines to travel to Australia, depending on their nationality and travel plans within the country.
Are Vaccines required for Australia?
The Australian visa requirements expect applicants to meet certain health requirements before visa approval can be granted. The main condition is being free from any disease or condition that may be a public health threat or a danger to the Australian community or incur substantial health care or community service costs.
Do I need yellow fever vaccine for Australia?
The only obligatory vaccine required for Australia is for yellow fever, but proof of this is only required if the traveler is arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. There is no risk of contracting yellow fever in Australia itself.
However, travelers are advised to be up-to-date with routine vaccinations before traveling to Australia, such as:
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
- varicella (chickenpox)
- Influenza (flu).
Depending on the visitors’ travel plans, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends a range of other vaccines for Australia.
What Vaccinations Do you Need for Australia?
Your doctor may suggest different vaccines for Australia depending on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and your nationality. These may include:
- Hepatitis A: This can be contracted through contaminated food or water in Australia. Your doctor will be able to advise you if you require a hepatitis A vaccine for Australia or not.
- Hepatitis B: If you think you may have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures while in Australia, then this vaccine is recommended. Hepatitis B can be spread through sexual contact, as well as through contaminated needles and blood products.
- Japanese Encephalitis: This vaccination for Australia may be required depending on what time of year you decide to visit the country. If you’re visiting certain remote areas of Australia between February and April for more than a month, or spending a lot of time outdoors in those areas during a shorter trip, you may need to get a vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis.
- Rabies: Present in bats in Australia, rabies is not a threat to most travelers. However, a rabies vaccine for Australia is recommended if the traveler plans to engage in outdoor activities such as adventure travel and caving in remote areas that put them at risk of bat bites. People who will be working with bats, such as wildlife professionals or researchers, are also advised to get vaccinated.
If you don’t plan on visiting any areas or engaging in activities considered high-risk and decide these vaccinations for Australia are not necessary, there are still precautions you should take to stay safe and healthy during your stay, including:
- Eating and drinking safely
- Avoiding insect bites
- Keeping a distance from wild animals
- Reducing exposure to germs
- Avoiding sharing bodily fluids
Travelers are advised to book a doctor’s consultation at least a month before traveling to discuss their plans for the stay and get any vaccinations needed to travel to Australia.