Q and A

Question

Can I get a malaria vaccine before traveling?

Is it possible to take a vaccination for fever like malaria before traveling to Africa? I am HIV positive.

Answer

Thank you for your question. There are no effective malaria vaccines. Protection against malaria come from oral tablets that you start taking at least a week before you travel and continue taking while away. You need to go to a tropical disease centre or a travel clinic to find out whether you are traveling to a country or region where malaria prophylaxis is recommended.

However, you may need other vaccinations depending on where you are traveling to. Countries have different vaccination requirements for entry. In general, HIV people should avoid most live vaccines, unless your HIV doctor says it is safe for you, or unless the risk from not getting vaccinated outweigh the risk from using a live vaccine. Inactivated vaccines are not be a problem. If for instance you need a typhoid vaccine, an inactivated version of this vaccine should be provided, not the live vaccine.

For more information on vaccinations you may need to travel to different parts of the world please click here. Make sure you have a discussion with your HIV doctor about any vaccinations before you get them.


Information on this website is provided by treatment advocates and offered as a guide only. Decisions about your treatment should always be taken in consultation with your doctor.

3 comments

  1. Thank you very much for your wonderful explanation. I really appreciate it and remain blessed

  2. Hello,

    I think the vaccine you are talking about is yellow fever. There are no vaccines for malaria. Most countries require you to show your yellow fever vaccine when coming from a country known to have yellow fever. Yellow fever is also transmitted via mosquitos but it is a different kind of mosquito to the one that transmits malaria. Yellow fever is still prevalent in West Africa. The vaccine for yellow fever should be taken before you travel to a country where it is prevalent like Nigeria.

    It is a live attenuated vaccine. However, many HIV positive people have this vaccine and there has never yet been a case of someone actually getting yellow fever from the vaccine. The risk of getting yellow fever if you choose not to have the vaccine are far higher than the risk of getting sick by having the vaccine. Therefore it is always recommended to get vaccinated for yellow fever before you travel to countries where it is endemic.

    Malaria can be prevented by tablets but there is no vaccine.

  3. Hello

    Thanks for urgent reply I appreciate it very much. What I meant by vaccination is perhaps for someone to travel to an African country like Nigeria, when coming back to Thailand the immigration require us to get a prevention vaccine because we came from a malarial country. What kind of vaccination is that? Is it necessary for a HIV positive person or not? Is it one of the live vaccinations you mentioned here please be more specific on your clarification.

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