Vaccinations Required for the Dominican Republic

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To ensure a healthy trip to and from the Dominican Republic, you will need to take a few precautions, including vaccinations. Be sure to consult with a doctor before traveling.

Consult with a Doctor

  • Before traveling to the Dominican Republic, you should consult with a doctor or health clinic four to eight weeks before your scheduled vacation. Some vaccinations require a few weeks between doses so be sure to allow enough time.

Vaccinations Needed

  • Hepatitis A is commonly spread by eating or drinking something that has come into contact with an infected person, or by someone that has not washed his hands after using the bathroom. The HAV vaccine becomes fully effective four weeks after receiving the shot, so get the injection at least a month prior to traveling to the DR.

    Typhoid fever is caused by the Salmonella that can be found in towns or restaurants outside of the all-inclusive hotel circuits, like Santiago, Dajabon or Jarabacoa. You should receive the injection no less than two weeks prior to traveling to the Dominican Republic.

    A Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) is given in a series of three shots. After the first shot has been given, you should receive the second shot one month later. You should get the third shot at least two months after the second shot. The entire series of doses require a four-month spread.

    Rabies vaccinations are important for travelers that plan to spend time outdoors or activities related to animals. If you anticipate visiting attractions like Oceanworld in Puerto Plata or hiking Pico Duarte, Jarabacoa, you should receive the immunization one month prior to traveling to the Dominican Republic.

    The MMR vaccination is a three-in-one prevention of several serious illnesses. You can receive the vaccination in a two-dose series.

Side Effects of Vaccinations

  • Because any vaccination can have potential side effects, it is necessary to receive doses a few weeks prior to traveling to the Dominican Republic. Be sure to consult with your doctor regarding allergies, as these are most likely to cause side effects.

    While extremely uncommon, a few minor side effects may include fever, soreness where the shot was administered, headaches or a slight rash.

Misconceptions

  • The Dominican Republic is a luxurious vacation spot. Don't let the picturesque scene take you away. Consider that this is a country with its own diets, animals, dairy and water that your system may not be used to. Vaccinations can prevent long-term health issues.

Plan Ahead

  • Your hotel and travel guide may have more information regarding which of these vaccinations and precautions you need to take. Another reliable source is the US State Department website, which is updated daily.

References

  • Photo Credit Paradise, Erika Arias, Flickr.com
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