Travel Vaccination Advice for Tonga
Do you need vaccinations to travel to Tonga? No, there are no vaccinations required to enter Tonga. However, certain vaccinations are recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as with travel to anywhere in the world. With outbreaks of measles and meningitis in Tonga the past few years, making sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date, as well as getting certain travel vaccinations, is a good idea as a safety precaution. See your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before travel to see what vaccinations you need to suit your individual needs.
What Vaccinations Do You Need to Enter Tonga?
There are no vaccinations required to enter Tonga. For instance, you do not need to have a certificate for yellow fever vaccinations.
Recommended Vaccinations for Tonga
Despite the list of recommended vaccinations below, the likelihood of visitors to Tonga getting an infectious disease is very slim. The most likely of the viruses mentioned is dengue fever (see in the below section) for which there is no vaccine. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to make sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date, bearing in mind that adults require boosters for some vaccines. Getting the travel vaccinations that we list below, as recommended by the WHO, is a way to stay on the safe side.
Visit your travel clinic or GP 4-6 weeks before your trip to get up-to-date information on which vaccines are best to have for Tonga, as well as get more travel health advice for your individual needs. When you get vaccines for you or your children, keep a record of them – many practices offer a travel vaccination passport.
Recommended Travel Vaccinations for Tonga
Typhoid Vaccine – Typhoid is a disease spread through food and water. There are frequent outbreaks of typhoid in small areas of Tonga, which are often controlled from spreading with authorities putting bans on mass-preparation of food and drink. The typhoid vaccine typically lasts two years.
Hepatitis A Vaccine – Hepatitis A spreads through food and water. While most people recover completely from hepatitis A, the vaccine is close to 100% protective.
Hepatitis B Vaccine – Hepatitis B spreads through blood and body fluids and is much more serious than hepatitis A. While treatment is complex, the prevention vaccine is highly effective.
Routine Vaccinations Recommended for Tonga
Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) Vaccine – The MMR vaccine is given to children as routine in many countries. Tonga has had outbreaks of measles in the past five years so the vaccine is recommended to anyone unvaccinated. Be sure to get your adult booster.
Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (TDAP) Vaccine – The airborne diseases, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also spread through wounds. The TDAP vaccine is a routine vaccination in children in many countries, while an adult booster is recommended, particularly for pertussis.
Polio Vaccine – Polio spreads through food and water. The polio vaccine is considered routine for children in many countries. A single adult booster vaccine is recommended.
Meningitis Vaccine – Meningococcal disease, which causes meningitis, is an airborne disease that has been present in local communities in Tonga. The vaccine is recommended to anyone unvaccinated or at an increased risk.
Health Issues to Be Aware of in Tonga
While Tonga is safe for most travellers, there are a few higher health risks in Tonga compared to other countries. Take a look at the list below at the main health risks you need to be aware of. For more information on symptoms, see How to Keep Safe in Tonga.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted disease that has regular outbreaks in the South Pacific. While there is no vaccine for dengue fever, it’s crucial to prevent day-biting mosquitos from biting your skin. See 10 Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites in Tonga for advice.
Similar to dengue fever, chikungunya is another mosquito-transmitted disease, especially spread by day-biting mosquitos. There is no vaccination or specific treatment for the disease, so sensible mosquito avoidance is recommended. Check out some of the 10 Best Natural Mosquito Repellents for Tonga.
Heatstroke is caused by excessive sun exposure. It can be simply prevented by applying high-factor sunscreen every three hours, covering up exposed skin, staying in the shade at midday, and regularly drinking water. Check out our recommended sunscreens in What are the Best Sunscreens for Tonga?
E-coli (Traveller’s Diarrhoea)
E-coli is a virus resulting from contaminated food and water, which can occur, for example, from drinking any tap water in Tonga. Precautions to take include boiling water for at least 10 minutes and washing hands regularly. Check out Can You Drink the Water in Tonga? for more information and advice.
Ciguatera is fish poisoning caused by eating reef fish that have eaten seaweed that is toxic to humans. Ways to prevent it include only eating the fish that the locals eat or avoid eating reef fish altogether.
For more information, see How to Keep Safe in Tonga.