Based on the US CDC Website, sounds like they require a few vaccinations and recommend several other vaccinations (listed below). What makes vaccinations "recommended"? What recommendations would current US Expats/Travelers in the Philippines have for vaccinations?

Most Travelers:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Other routine vaccinations (MMR, chickenpox, polio, flu)

Some Travelers:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Malaria
  • Rabies
  • Yellow Fever

Source http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/extended_student.vfr/philippines?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001

  • Call your family doctor for this advice. They may refer you to a specialized "vaccination clinic" that can recommend and perform the vaccinations. Since such clinics specialize in the subject, they generally give the vest advice. The list you have above is essentially the list the CDC gives for every country in the world, so it's rather information-free. See for example wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/… which differs only in the omission of Typhoid. Apr 14, 2015 at 21:50
  • Note that, as the CDC site mentions, malaria risk is not really present at all in urban areas in the Philippines. If you're just going to be in, say, Manila or Cebu, malaria isn't really a concern. It is a problem in some of the rural areas, though. In general, though, avoid drinking (or otherwise ingesting) unfiltered water.
    – reirab
    May 12, 2015 at 20:17
  • The CDC website actually explains the recommendations pretty well? Like get Typhoid if you plan to eat a lot of local food, Hep B if you think you will have sex with locals or get a tattoo, etc. The recommendation is based on the CDC's assessment of risk. In most cases, you doctor or travel clinic can further help you determine risk depending on your actual travel plans (areas with malaria, type of accommodation etc)
    – Ida
    Mar 1, 2016 at 20:48

2 Answers 2


Asking for medical advice on a forum, is probably not the ideal approach.

You really need to talk about where you plan to go and what you plan to do, with your family physician since they know your health history and a tropical disease specialist, as they know what you might encounter. Sadly travel vaccination clinics tend to have a broad understanding (similar to what you get from the CDC) rather than specific knowledge of each country and environment. And often err on the side of caution, over prescribing shots.

I think as a whole, Expats living in places like the Philippines get very few vaccinations, rather they adjust their lifestyles to mitigate the risks, such as using mosquito repellents when out in the forests to avoid being possibly bit by Dengue or JE or Malaria bearing mosquitoes.

But the fact that an Expat doesn't get inoculated, doesn't automatically mean you can avoid it too. You need to understand the risks and consequences first, then make your own decision.

  • @mark mayo - what was wrong with my "crap shoot" verbiage? It implies inherent risk whereas your edit does not?
    – user13044
    Apr 15, 2015 at 3:43
  • @Tom fair enough if you want to reword, I just felt 'crap shoot' was a reasonably unusual slang for someone not that familiar with the English language. (I explained in the edit details)
    – Mark Mayo
    Apr 15, 2015 at 3:49
  • So let me see if I am hearing you correctly: Travel Vaccination clincs and CDC are too broad, go see your primary physician, and asking this question to people who have actually traveled and experienced life in the Philippines is absurd. I'm not asking this question and basing my vaccinations solely on a forum response, but rather obtaining information from multiple sources, including my primary physician.
    – Todd B.
    Apr 15, 2015 at 13:59
  • 1
    No need to get defensive. I never said asking was abusrb, I said it was a crap shoot ie risky (someone else edited my use of slang). But if you ask this same question on other major travel forums, you will get similar answers.
    – user13044
    Apr 15, 2015 at 15:36

I know you asked about US expats but I'm adding this for reference for others.

Here in the UK, generally when booking a holiday you can check the health service website which will tell you if vaccinations are required at all (just yes or no) and then you book an appointment with your GP/nurse.

What I have found (after booking a trip to Philippines) is that by the time I arrived at my appointment the nurse has already checked the most recent travel advice given by the government and checked the current status in terms of mosquito prone areas and any current outbreaks of whatever. Depending on where you go in the Philippines depends on whether you need additional vaccinations or anti-malarial drugs in addition to the usual mosquito protection.

For my trip the only additional vaccines I needed were Typhoid and Hepatitis A, as I already had up to date routine ones (and Revaxis - Diptheria, Tetanus and Polio from a previous trip to Brazil).

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