Travel vaccinations for Sri Lanka
- The length of your stay
- What kind of travel you plan on doing:
- where you’ll be staying
- if you’ll be eating at a lot of local food restaurants
- activities you’re likely to do while you’re there
- Your general health and medical history
What injections do I need for Sri Lanka?
MMR (Measles, mumps & rubella) & DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus & polio)
MMR and DTaP are both injections needed for Sri Lanka. Don’t just assume you are up-to-date with these routine vaccinations. Some of these immunisations will need boosters so it’s a good idea to check with your travel health specialist, particularly with the global outbreak of measles, and get your MMR Sri Lanka Vaccinations
Typhoid & Hepatitis A
Typhoid & Hepatitis A are transferred through contaminated food and drink. While there are some preventative measures, like ensuring you only drink bottled water, it’s recommended that you get these jabs for Sri Lanka, particularly if you think you will be eating adventurously or travelling out of the main centres.
Hepatitis B is a risk across Asia, and we particularly advise those at risk of disease, children and anyone travelling frequently or staying long term to include this in their Sri Lanka jabs.
Cholera is a risk in Sri Lanka. It is transferred through contaminated food and water and is commonly found in places that have poor sanitation. Take a look at some of our specific tips below to help keep yourself safe and talk to one of our travel health professionals about whether it’s a good idea to include this in your immunisations for Sri Lanka.
Rabies & Japanese Encephalitis
Rabies can be an issue in Sri Lanka and a lick or a scratch is all that is needed to transfer the disease. We highly advise anyone travelling with children to consider this as one of the vaccinations needed for Sri Lanka. After all,children won’t always let you know when they have interacted with an animal.
Unlike what the name suggests, Japanese Encephalitis is not confined to Japan. In fact, there are reports of it reaching some parts of Australia. This is a disease that is transferred by mosquito bite. It causes severe illness and can be fatal.
Situated in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka sits at the bottom of the tip of India.The table below provides a general guide as to the Travel Vaccinations that may be advised to you for travel to Sri Lanka. The Vaccinations and Medications that are needed for travel vary from person-to-person.
|Vaccination||All Travellers||Most Travellers||Some Travellers||Major Risk|
|MMR||Yes||Person-to-Person||Measles, mumps, rubella, Course of Two||£50|
|DTaP||Yes||Person-to-Person||Tetanus, Diptheria, polio, Single Dose||£40|
|Typhoid||Yes||Contaminated Food and Water||Typhoid, single dose||£50|
|Hepatitis A||Yes||Contaminated Food and Water||Hepatitis A, Single Dose||£60|
|Cholera||Yes||Contaminated Food and Water||Cholera, for course of 2||£35|
|Hepatitis B||Yes||Body Fluids, Medical Intervention||Hepatitis B, Course of Three||£65|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Yes||Mosquitoes||Japanese encephalitis, Course of Two||£90|
|Rabies||Yes||Infected Animals||Rabies, Course of Three||£65|
Advice for travellers to all destinations
The Vaccinations and Medications that are needed for travel vary from person-to-person. Everyone should have a personal risk assessment with a travel health professional to take into account a range of factors such as itinerary, medical condition, occupational and lifestyle risk factors and previous vaccination history.
Is Sri Lanka safe for tourists?
The Foreign Office declared Sri Lanka safe to travel to following terrorist attacks in early 2019. It’s important to keep up with the UK government’s most up-to-date information on their travel advice website. The advice is to exercise caution as terrorist attacks are still a threat. This means staying aware of your surroundings, particularly in crowded areas popular with tourists.
Sri Lanka has stepped up its security so follow the advice of local authorities, know where the British embassy is and make sure you have ample data on your smartphone to be able to access online information.
Consider booking your trip through a travel agent that will be able to organise an alternative course of action, should you find yourself in an emergency situation. Note, not all travel agents offer this in the event of a terrorist attack.
Risk of malaria in Sri Lanka
Malaria is a viral illness spread by Mosquitoes that bite from dusk to dawn throughout the tropical world. It causes high fever and severe joint and muscle pains. In serious cases, malaria can be fatal. For more information, please see Malaria.
Travellers to areas where there is a Risk of Malaria should get advice regarding Malaria Medication which can be taken to help stop the illness from developing. The type of medication required depends on your destination, itinerary, length of stay and current medical condition. Further reduce the risk of by practising mosquito Bite Avoidance by using Insect Repellent such as DEET 50% and covering exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers.
Yellow fever risk and certification requirements for Sri Lanka
Yellow Fever is a serious viral illness spread by mosquitoes in the tropical regions of Africa and South America. For further information, please see Yellow Fever Vaccination.
Additional travel health risks for Sri Lanka
Travel around Sri Lanka on a three wheeled tri-shaw or tuk-tuk and see the sights or travel on the countries extensive railways system. Pay a visit to the botanical gardens or one of the many tea estates. If something more serene is your style then why not try some whale and dolphin watching at Mirissa or Kalpatiya. Alternatively, just sit back, grab a cool beverage and watch the crowds go by.
Heat and humidity
Sri Lanka is tropical so come prepared to avoid sunburn and heatstroke. There are also monsoons here, depending on when you travel. This is an island so the weather can change quite dramatically. Check the weather for the period you are travelling, as you will need to pack adequately and take reasonable precautions.
Insect Bites expose travellers to many diseases including Dengue Fever, Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis. Take steps to avoid Insect Bites including wearing insect repellent such as DEET 50% and covering areas of exposed skin with long sleeves and trousers.
Food and drink
Sri Lankan cuisine is quite similar to South Indian cuisine so sit back, order and enjoy. Food is inexpensive with rice and curry in abundance. You might want to go easy for the first few days if you have a delicate tummy. Try eating your meal the Sri Lankan way – with the tips of the fingers of your right hand.
Tap water is not considered safe so stick to the bottled stuff that is inexpensive and readily available. Don’t forget to also be mindful of foods washed in water and of ice cubes.
Be sensible when travelling through Sri Lanka. Violent crime against tourist have been known to happen, especially against female tourists so be aware of your surroundings and try to travel in a group, especially at night. Some areas, due to past conflicts still contain land mines – so please check.
Make sure you have adequate and comprehensive travel and health insurance in place that will cover the full range of activities you plan to undertake while you are in Sri Lanka.
Travellers to Sri Lanka are at risk of Travellers Diarrhoea. Try to wash your hands regularly and monitor the food that you are eating and practise good personal hygiene.
In the neighbourhood, South Asia
If you are travelling further afield throughout South Asia make sure you check out the vaccination injections that you need for every country that you are going to.