Barbados: Travel Vaccines & Health Advice

Barbados: Travel Vaccines & Health Advice

These are some of the major health risks and vaccinations that you’ll need to consider for a trip to Barbados.

We stock most required vaccines on-site. You should ideally see us 4-6 weeks before your trip.

Recommended vaccinations:

Hepatitis A vaccine

Highly recommended. Hepatitis A is a viral disease that affects the liver. You can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in this country, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Immunisation is the best protection against hepatitis A infection and is recommended for travel to this area. It involves either 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine, or 3 doses of the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines given as a combination.

Typhoid vaccine

Recommended for most travellers. You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Safe food and water practices are the basis of prevention, but vaccination is also recommended for travel to this area. Immunity post-vaccination lasts for 2-3 years.

Some travellers may require:

Routine vaccinations

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip, such as:

  • measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine
  • varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
  • influenza vaccine

Other health considerations for travellers to Barbados


Dengue fever is an infection transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. There is no vaccine to prevent infection, so you should protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times in dengue areas.

Ciguatera fish poisoning

Ciguatera is a poisoning resulting from eating certain fish in particular regions in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Caribbean. Mackerel caught around mid-October in Australia are a classic cause of this condition.

Hookworm (Cutanea Larva Migrans)

Hookworm is a parasite that can infect humans in countries with poor sanitation and a warm, moist climate. Hookworm larvae penetrate through intact skin (such as walking with bare feet), and can go on to cause severe gastrointestinal and skin infections.

You should avoid walking barefoot in areas where there may be contaminated soil. In addition, don’t touch soil or sand with your bare hands.

Travellers diarrhoea

Traveller’s diarrhoea affects roughly 20-50% of overseas travellers. It is caused by ingesting contaminated food or water. The bacteria that trigger the illness may appear harmless to the local population, usually because they have developed immunity to them. Symptoms include abdominal bloating, cramps, nausea, fevers and diarrhoea.

Tips to prevent traveller’s diarrhoea:

  • Avoid contaminated foods such as raw or peeled vegetables, undercooked meats, unpasteurised dairy products and food from street vendors.
  • Avoid drinking or brushing your teeth with tap water
  • Buy bottled water to drink
  • Boil tap water for at least 5 minutes before drinking it
  • Avoid drinks that contain ice
  • Avoid using tap water to wash your fruit and vegetables
  • Wash your hands and eat at reputable restaurants.


Zika virus is a mild febrile illness, spread via the bite of an infected mosquito or by having sex with an infected person. Studies have shown that Zika virus infection in a pregnant woman can be transmitted to the baby, causing congenital problems such as microcephaly.

The best way to prevent Zika is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Pregnant women should consider deferring travel to high risk countries

This information is intended as a guide only and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Recommendations on vaccinations and medications require assessment on an individual basis, taking into account factors such as your medical history, itinerary, length of stay and style of travel.