Preventive medicine for safe travel to the Caribbean
Punta Cana is an ideal tourist destination. Beaches, naturalization, good weather and thousands of activities to spend an unforgettable vacation. The tropical climate of the Caribbean is wonderful for the tourist, but the warmth and humidity are the perfect place for the proliferation of diseases.
The best prevention so that we do not get infected with any of them is to be up to date with the vaccinations before preparing the passport and organizing your flight to the Dominican Republic.
In this post we wanted to collect all the information about which are the recommended vaccines so that you can enjoy your holidays with the best sanitary guarantees.
Do you have to get vaccinated to go to Punta Cana? Is it mandatory?
Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, has the same requirements as almost all Caribbean countries: none. You can check it on the page of the embassy of the Dominican Republic in your country.
But just because getting vaccinated is not mandatory does not mean that you have to take the necessary precautions. It is advisable to travel with an up-to-date vaccination record. We do not want to put fear in your body, since traveling to Punta Cana is not considered a risk sport, but you know, better to be safe than sorry.
Advisable vaccinations to go on vacation to Punta Cana
We wanted to bring you a list of frequent vaccinations that both the WHO (World Health Organization) as the ISTM (International Society of Travel Medicine), two important world medicine organizations recommend to travel to Punta Cana.
Typhoid fever has always been a headache for all those who travel to tropical climates. It usually causes diarrhea and skin rashes, as well as fever and other related problems in some cases.
The disease is caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi, which usually enters the body through some bad food. There are two ways to achieve immunity to this disease: through a vaccine or through pills taken by mouth.
This disease, which affects the functioning of the liver, is another one that can ruin your trip. You can usually get hepatitis A by eating contaminated food or water. Later we will give you some tips to know how to prevent this, but the best thing is that in addition to following them, you are also vaccinated against hepatitis A.
Children are usually vaccinated between the ages of one and two, but if you don't have it, you can get vaccinated against hepatitis at some pharmacies. Remember that there are two doses spaced in 6 months, so do it in advance before traveling to Punta Cana or any other destination in the Dominican Republic.
The other variant of hepatitis, which like Hepatitis A, affects the liver. However, this disease is transmitted through blood, semen, and other bodily fluids. The hepatitis B vaccine is usually injected into newborn babies, but if you are an adult, know that you can also get vaccinated.
Doses can be up to 4, so plan ahead for vaccination if you plan to travel to the Dominican Republic.
The TDaP vaccine is another one that we recommend if you travel anywhere in the Caribbean. It protects against multiple diseases, which is why it is nicknamed the "triple viral": whooping or convulsive cough, diphtheria and tetanus.
It is usually applied to children from birth and even to pregnant women, but if you want to be vaccinated, know that you only have to inject a single dose of the vaccine.
Animals are also conductors of some diseases such as rabies. And Punta Cana is full of animals. So the best way to prevent this encephalitis disease is to get all 3 doses of the vaccine within 28 days.
This vaccine protects against influenza, a disease that affects the lungs and airways. It is usually applied to children from 6 months, and for adults there is a spray version that is very easy to apply.
Given the exceptional situation in which we are currently immersed, it is more than advisable to have antibodies against the coronavirus in the body.
Both at the airport of origin (whether in Spain, Mexico, the US, France, Brazil or any country) or at the Punta Cana international airport, they may require a COVID digital certificate, an antigen test or a PCR (Protein C test Reactive) with recent date.
Other advisable vaccinations
Although with the vaccines that we have already mentioned you can protect yourself from a large number of diseases, to travel to Punta Cana it is also advisable to have other vaccines.
MMR o MMRV
Measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox are not tasteful dishes while we are enjoying our vacation season in Punta Cana. The MMR vaccine protects against the first three named diseases, while the MMRV protects against all four. It is usually given to children in two doses, although adults can also protect themselves by giving both doses of the vaccine.
Punta Cana is a very humid place in which the presence of mosquitoes is very common, especially in areas where nature predominates. Zika, very common in Africa, spread in 2016 to the Caribbean and other tourist areas in America. It is difficult to get it, but it is best to be vaccinated against this virus.
Although it is a recent disease, there is already a vaccine that was tested in 2019 and that you can inoculate yourself to avoid contracting the disease. Check with your local health to see if they can inoculate you with this vaccine.
Tips and recommendations to prevent falling ill during your holidays
Regardless of whether or not you have up-to-date vaccinations, there are many ways to avoid contracting diseases during your stay in the Dominican Republic.
By following the following tips that we want to give you, you can avoid falling ill on your relaxing days in Punta Cana and avoid being confined to your hotel room throughout your stay.
Avoid drinking tap water
One of the most common ways when it comes to contracting a disease is through the water we drink. Whenever you go to drink water during your holidays, make sure it is properly bottled, since many establishments fill tap water and do not follow sanitary measures.
It is also very common for this water to be used to make ice cubes, so try to make sure of the origin of the ice that they put in your drink so as not to suffer diarrhea that ruins your Dominican experience.
Put on anti-mosquito lotion
Mosquitoes love to bite, and they are also great conductors for disease. Using an anti-mosquito repellent in the form of lotion is usually very effective against bites. You can also fumigate your room with an anti-mosquito product, or buy an electrical device with ultrasound to scare away these insects.
In addition, to protect yourself against the Zika disease, which we have already discussed in previous lines, you can also prevent malaria and even dengue.
Take out medical insurance before traveling
Getting sick in another country is never pleasant. You do not know where to go, if the place is going to be decent or how things work, in addition to not being certain how much the visit to the health specialist may hurt your VISA.
The best thing is that before any trip, be it to Punta Cana, Riviera Maya or any other part of the world, you take out medical insurance. There are many of them on the internet that you can find diving around the net, and that cover many of the diseases that we have mentioned above.
It is also recommended if you are going to do any activity in the country (snorkeling, horseback riding, parasailing) or do a cultural activity (visit Santo Domingo, Samaná, Puerto Plata, La Romana, ...), since an injury in the Republic Dominicana can be very expensive.
If you are a responsible traveler, always remember to take out medical insurance, regardless of whether you are staying in an all-inclusive hotel or traveling as a backpacker.
Tourism is important to our country and the health of travelers is a priority for Dominicans.